West Elizabeth Update West Elizabeth Update
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. What is an Enhanced Travel Corridor (ETC)?
- The City’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP) defines Enhanced Travel Corridors (ETCs) as unique corridors that are designed to emphasize high frequency transit, bicycling, and walking. The TMP lays out a network of ETCs throughout the city, and the special focus on public transit and biking and walking is intended to strategically accommodate future growth by offering multiple options for getting around. ETC plans lay out a long-term design for the roadway with multiple options for using the corridor. The long-term proposed design for the West Elizabeth ETC is called the “Recommended Design.”
- 2. Why is West Elizabeth Street identified as an ETC?
- Due to the population density in the area, transit ridership is the highest in the City. Patrons often are left behind due to full buses.
- Upwards of 2,000 bicyclists a day use this corridor, but bike lanes are incomplete.
- Some segments of the corridor do not have sidewalks at all, and some areas that do have sidewalks are not comfortable for users, particularly those using wheelchairs or walkers.
- Several intersections in this corridor have higher than expected number of crashes.
- 3. What is proposed under the West Elizabeth Recommended Design?
Highlights of the Recommended Design for West Elizabeth include:
- For People Riding Transit—High frequency, streamlined transit service (10-15 minute frequency) connecting West Elizabeth directly to Downtown, improved patron amenities (no guideway, such as the one used by MAX, is proposed in the interim or long-term plan for this corridor)
- For People Bicycling—Completion of bike lanes throughout the corridor additional intersection treatments that improve comfort and visibility for cyclists
- For People Walking or Using Mobility Devices (Walkers, Wheelchairs, etc.)—Completion and enhancement of the pedestrian network, including detached sidewalks with a landscape buffer between the sidewalk and street (where space is available), additional treatments to make it safer and easier to cross West Elizabeth Street
- For People Driving—Safety improvements at locations with a demonstrated crash history, four travel lanes in the busiest segments of the corridor, traffic calming, and a roundabout at Overland Trail and West Elizabeth Street to facilitate turning movements
The Reccomended Design Map shows the locations of the proposed improvements.
- 4. What is the timing for the Recommended Design to be built?
The Recommended Design is the long-term vision for the corridor. It has been described as a 10- to 15-year plan, but the timing of implementation depends on the availability of funding as well as redevelopment opportunities along the corridor. The City anticipates applying for grants to help pay for the full set of planned improvements. In the meantime, a City budget request has been submitted for 2017-18 to implement some of the high priority items (noted as “Interim” improvements in the plan document).
- 5. How does the Recommended Design impact private property?
The project was designed to minimize impacts to private property. The Recommended Design for West Elizabeth is accommodated nearly completely within the City’s public right-of-way. Public right-of-way is defined as city-owned land intended for the general public’s use, such as streets and sidewalks. Sometimes it is not obvious where the right-of-way line is, and residents may currently be using existing right-of-way as part of their yard. Only four locations in the design are outside of existing public right-of-way; two are owned by CSU, one by the City of Fort Collins and one by a private property owner. In addition, right-of-way dedication may be required under certain conditions when a property owner redevelops their property. In the Recommended Design, right-of-way impacts are highlighted in yellow.
- 6. What is the proposed speed limit under the Recommended Design?
The current posted speed limit is 30 mph on West Elizabeth between Overland Trail and Shields Street, and this is anticipated to remain the same. Street design—even more than the posted speed limit—greatly impacts the speed at which motorists typically drive. The Recommended Design for the corridor is intended to encourage slower travel that is more in line with the current speed limit.
- 7. What happens to driveways under the Recommended Design?
Efforts were made to maintain existing residential driveways and to use medians in a limited fashion that minimizes out of direction travel. In commercial areas, some improvements are proposed that would limit high crash movements (e.g., left turns out) while maintaining business access and circulation. In addition, with larger-scale redevelopment, consolidation of driveways on West Elizabeth is proposed to minimize conflict points and make West Elizabeth more consistent with arterial access standards.
- 8. What are the plans for Shields and West Elizabeth? Will an underpass be built?
The Shields and West Elizabeth intersection is currently being assessed in a separate effort. A 2015 intergovernmental agreement between CSU and the City requires that CSU make some at-grade intersection improvements prior to opening day of the on-campus stadium and assess a potential grade-separated crossing at this location (a concept that has been identified in multiple transportation plans over the years). An initial study indicated that an underpass is feasible, and a CSU and consultant team is working on the design in coordination with City staff. Some of the key issues to be addressed include: business access, safe crossings of two-way bicycle traffic, and the connection to the mid-block crossing of West Elizabeth. For more information and to provide input, please visit: http://source.colostate.edu/construction-and-parking/shields-underpass-proposal/