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Master Street Plan

Master Street Plan

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Part of the Plan Fort Collins 2011 Update

The process for the 2010-11 update of the Master Street Plan (MSP) was different than previous TMP updates. There were several proposed amendments that reflect built alignments, approved development plans, and Colorado Department of Transportation studies. Other locations were also selected for additional evaluation during the update to the MSP. Each of these locations was evaluated to understand the impact of changing the functional classification (e.g. two-lane arterial, collector) of the street. The evaluation was completed using the Triple Bottom Line indicators, the regional travel demand model, and input from City staff, the public, the transportation subteam, the Bicycle Advisory Committee, Planning and Zoning Board, Transportation Board, and City Council.

There were 14 locations evaluated to understand the impact of rightsizing the street classification or grade separation designations. One of the major outcomes of the 2010-11 update was that no MSP street classifications were proposed to be expanded beyond their current street classification through the 2035 horizon years. In some cases, the update reduces the classification for specific street segments. The proposed Master Street Plan street classifications for these areas and the full network will continue to support the current and forecast travel needs based on the updated land use plans and the focus on infill and redevelopment areas.

The updated MSP also provides a new Master Street Plan Overlay Map to designate locations where the Larimer County Urban Area Street Standards (LCUASS) require revisions to achieve the TMP vision. These corridors may need to do more to address the street’s adjacent land uses or better fit the unique needs of the area (Downtown, North College, Lincoln, etc.) as well as service all modes of transportation (cars, bikes, pedestrians, transit, freight, parking, etc.).

Special Focus Areas - Enhanced Travel Corridors

Enhanced Travel Corridors Enhanced Travel Corridors (ETCs) provide connections between major activity centers like downtown, CSU, Midtown, employment centers, shopping destinations, and neighborhoods. While ETCs share this similar purpose; each individual corridor will have a different, unique way to provide those connections. In some corridors, ETCs may focus on enhancing travel time through the corridor to connect primary destinations (Mountain Vista Corridor and Timberline Corridor), while other ETCs may focus on enhancing infill and redevelopment along the corridor (Mason Corridor and Harmony Corridor).

The City’s current ETCs include:

  • Harmony Road (from I-25 to Front Range Community College [FRCC] – the Harmony Corridor is being extended from Mason Corridor to the west to connect with FRCC)
  • College Avenue/Mason Corridor (Downtown to approximately ½ mile south of Harmony Road)
  • Mountain Vista/North College Corridor (from Downtown Transit Center to Mountain Vista)
  • Timberline Road/Power Trail (from Harmony Road to Mountain Vista)

The new, long-term ETCs proposed include:

  • Prospect Road (from CSU/Mason to I-25)
  • West Elizabeth (from CSU to Overland/CSU Foothills)

Reshaping Streets

Reshaping streets is an idea that emerged to create streets that fulfill the triple bottom line goals of economic, human, and environmental sustainability. In addition, focus shall be on a quality transportation experience that supports the surrounding context. For example, street design in activity centers could emphasize pedestrian, bicycle, and transit safety and comfort while street design in other locations could emphasize travel time and automobile mobility.

Alternative Vehicles and Trails

A variety of new vehicle types have sprung into the market since the 2004 updates to the City’s planning efforts. Scooters, mopeds, longboards and skateboards have become increasingly popular vehicles for getting around Fort Collins. Additionally, electric assist bicycles have helped people embark on longer bicycle commutes and try bicycling again. Currently, the City does not provide specific locations for new alternative vehicle types to travel. Clarifying where alternative vehicle travel could be appropriate in Fort Collins includes a distinction between commuter trails and trails in natural areas. Trails in natural areas will continue to focus on recreational activity and minimize impacts to sensitive natural areas and wildlife habitat. Commuter trails and streets will be considered for redesign to incorporate new vehicle types while respecting the variety of existing trail users. To accommodate new vehicle types, new standards and/or regulations and policies, as well as educational and awareness programs, may need to be created. To create appropriate locations and policies for all vehicle types, a variety of factors will need to be considered. When developing new standards, considering vehicle speed, weight, licensing, crashworthiness, and safety education will be critical to creating a safe travel environment for everyone moving around and through Fort Collins.

What is the Master Street Plan?

The Master Street Plan (MSP) is a map of the City's long-range vision for its major street network. This includes existing and future vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian connections throughout the city and its growth management area

The MSP also reflects the type of street (i.e. collector, arterial, etc.) and the general location for planning transportation connections. Final street alignments are determined and designed at the time of development.

Not all city streets are reflected on the MSP. The map depicts only shows arterial and key collector streets. Other collector and local streets are not represented on the MSP but can be found on approved development plans and subdivision plats.

How is the Master Street Plan Used?

There are a variety of ways that City staff and others use the MSP.

Development Review: The City of Fort Collins Land Use Code requires that all development plans "provide for or accommodate the streets and transportation facilities identified on the MSP." This requirement allows the City to ensure that the necessary land and funding to construct the street are provided at the time of development. The City's Complete Streets policy ensures that bicycle lanes and sidewalks are part of newly constructed streets.

Development Impact Fees: The City Engineering department uses the MSP to determine development impact fees for streets (Street Oversizing Fees). These developer fees help pay the portion of street costs related to the traffic created by the development. The fees are revised on a regular basis depending on changes to the MSP.

Planning Transportation Connections: The MSP is an excellent tool to understand the City's long-term vision for our street network. Developers, residents, neighboring communities, and others can learn how the existing and future network will impact a development, safe routes to travel to school, or a connection to another municipality's transportation system.

How is the Master Street Plan Updated?

The MSP is a living plan and is regularly revisited and amended to reflect new infrastructure. A MSP amendment review incorporates a wide variety of information including technical analysis and input from various City departments, travel demand modeling, and City Plan and Transportation Master Plan policies. The data and City policies are compiled prior to formulating a staff recommendation to the City's Transportation Board, Planning & Zoning Board, and City Council.

Amendments to the Master Street Plan are reviewed by the Transportation Board and the Planning & Zoning Board for their comments and recommendations to City Council. City Council then decides by resolution whether or not to amend the Master Street Plan. The entire review process takes at least four months, including preparation of staff reports.

For more information about the Master Street Plan, please contact us.