Downtown Alternative Route Study

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Located east of I-25 corridor in northeastern Colorado, the Town of Windsor has a population of approaching 40,000 and offers a wide variety of employment, shopping, dining and entertainment options for its residents. Windsor’s historic downtown is bisected by two state highways: State Hwy. 392 running east-west along Main Street, and State Hwy. 257 running primarily north-south with an east-west segment between 7th Street and Hollister Lake Road along Main Street.

As state highways, these two routes provide important access in and out of town for community members, but they also carry commuter traffic and regional truck traffic through downtown – both local deliveries and through-trips with origins and destinations outside of Windsor. The downtown truck traffic has long been a source of community concerns related to traffic operations, noise and emissions, and pedestrian safety.

The Downtown Alternate Route Study was intended to provide the Town with a plan for reducing the impacts of commuter and truck traffic through downtown.

Study Goals

Having a safe and comfortable Main Street while still allowing for the needed movement of freight through Windsor is vital to the Town’s continued vibrancy. This study seeks to achieve that by developing recommendations for both downtown multimodal improvements and an alternate route. The Downtown Alternate Route Study will:

  • Build off of previous traffic analyses to better understand the magnitude and patterns of commuter and truck traffic in and around downtown
  • Engage community members, partner agencies, the Town Board, and other stakeholders through community events, surveys, and meetings
  • Evaluate conditions for all modes of travel through downtown Windsor and identify recommended improvements for enhancing access, efficiency, and safety
  • Evaluate possible alternate routes in Windsor and recommend a preferred alternate routes

Potential improvements to downtown and potential alternate routes are being evaluated using a set of criteria established collaboratively with project stakeholders.

Timeline

The study began in June 2022 and will continue through March 2023, and includes two rounds of community outreach. The first, in late August 2022, was focused on gathering input on how people use Main Street, what issues or opportunities they see related to downtown mobility, and perceptions related to commuter and truck traffic. Public input was gathered at the Windsor Farmer’s Market. Additionally, data was collected at different major intersections around town to determine traffic patterns. Data was collected based on five criteria: turning movements, peak hour count, 24-hour count, vehicle classification, and vehicle origin and destination. In January 2023, the analyzed data and findings were presented to the Town Board for consideration. The second round of public engagement will be focused on sharing analysis results and improvement recommendations for downtown, including alternative traffic routing concepts for review.

Study Conclusion

Windsor’s Historic Downtown is bisected by two state highways: State Highway 392 and State Highway 257. They provide important access in and out of town, but they also carry commuter traffic and regional truck traffic through downtown. This has long been a source of community concerns related to traffic operations and pedestrian safety; a safe and inviting Main Street which allows truck traffic to travel though Windsor’s downtown.

The Downtown Alternative Route Study was conducted to better understand Main Street traffic patterns and to identify future solutions for improving safety, managing traffic and maintaining downtown vitality. Traffic data and input from the community were considered and findings and recommendations were presented to the Town Board for consideration in January 2023.

Following the downtown traffic analysis, the total estimated potential for rerouting trips from Main St. is up to 725 vehicles per day – less than 5% of the average daily total of over 16,000 vehicles per day. The town will focus on its efforts on the realignment of Weld County Rd. 70 to alleviate potential congestion and improve pedestrian safety on Main St., but this amount of diversion will not substantially reduce traffic operations, so an alternative route isn’t warranted due to lack of east-west route options. The town will continue to identify ways in which to improve conditions to create a more fluid multimodal system for Main St. in the future.

Key Observations & Conclusions

Traffic data was collected in the fall of 2022, including intersection turning counts, daily traffic counts, and travel patterns. Key observations included:

  • Main Street is the busiest east-west street with over 16,000 vehicles per day
  • The busiest travel pattern is along Main Street between 11th Street and 4th Street
  • Most signalized intersections operate at acceptable levels of service

The observed traffic volumes were also used estimate future traffic volumes. Analysis of this data, as well as a review of current conditions for all users of Main Street, resulted in the following key conclusions:

  • Main Street congestion will increase in the future as vehicle volumes grow
  • Pedestrian and bicycle connectivity to and through downtown is limited
  • Trucks cannot be entirely eliminated from downtown due to state law and access needs for local businesses

Community outreach was conducted to understand how people use Main Street and what issues or opportunities they see related to downtown mobility. In August 2022, project team members gathered input at the Windsor Farmer’s Market. A survey taken by 245 people resulted in the following findings:

  • Driving through downtown is the primary way that survey participants use Main Street
  • Downtown congestion and pedestrian safety are major concerns
  • Survey participants favor restricted truck access and intersection improvements

Frequently Asked Questions

How will potential truck routes be evaluated?

Evaluation criteria will be determined with the stakeholder group. Possible factors include route distance, travel time, proximity to sensitive land uses, and roadway characteristics.

Are new traffic counts being collected for the study?

Yes, there is a data collection task. Counts that include vehicle volume, speed, and classification will be collected at numerous intersections and mid-block locations in and around downtown. Origin/destination data will also be collected.

What improvements might be considered for Main Street?

Possible improvements that will be evaluated could include raised medians, enhanced pedestrian crossings, driveway/cross street access modifications, and intersection control modifications.

Located east of I-25 corridor in northeastern Colorado, the Town of Windsor has a population of approaching 40,000 and offers a wide variety of employment, shopping, dining and entertainment options for its residents. Windsor’s historic downtown is bisected by two state highways: State Hwy. 392 running east-west along Main Street, and State Hwy. 257 running primarily north-south with an east-west segment between 7th Street and Hollister Lake Road along Main Street.

As state highways, these two routes provide important access in and out of town for community members, but they also carry commuter traffic and regional truck traffic through downtown – both local deliveries and through-trips with origins and destinations outside of Windsor. The downtown truck traffic has long been a source of community concerns related to traffic operations, noise and emissions, and pedestrian safety.

The Downtown Alternate Route Study was intended to provide the Town with a plan for reducing the impacts of commuter and truck traffic through downtown.

Study Goals

Having a safe and comfortable Main Street while still allowing for the needed movement of freight through Windsor is vital to the Town’s continued vibrancy. This study seeks to achieve that by developing recommendations for both downtown multimodal improvements and an alternate route. The Downtown Alternate Route Study will:

  • Build off of previous traffic analyses to better understand the magnitude and patterns of commuter and truck traffic in and around downtown
  • Engage community members, partner agencies, the Town Board, and other stakeholders through community events, surveys, and meetings
  • Evaluate conditions for all modes of travel through downtown Windsor and identify recommended improvements for enhancing access, efficiency, and safety
  • Evaluate possible alternate routes in Windsor and recommend a preferred alternate routes

Potential improvements to downtown and potential alternate routes are being evaluated using a set of criteria established collaboratively with project stakeholders.

Timeline

The study began in June 2022 and will continue through March 2023, and includes two rounds of community outreach. The first, in late August 2022, was focused on gathering input on how people use Main Street, what issues or opportunities they see related to downtown mobility, and perceptions related to commuter and truck traffic. Public input was gathered at the Windsor Farmer’s Market. Additionally, data was collected at different major intersections around town to determine traffic patterns. Data was collected based on five criteria: turning movements, peak hour count, 24-hour count, vehicle classification, and vehicle origin and destination. In January 2023, the analyzed data and findings were presented to the Town Board for consideration. The second round of public engagement will be focused on sharing analysis results and improvement recommendations for downtown, including alternative traffic routing concepts for review.

Study Conclusion

Windsor’s Historic Downtown is bisected by two state highways: State Highway 392 and State Highway 257. They provide important access in and out of town, but they also carry commuter traffic and regional truck traffic through downtown. This has long been a source of community concerns related to traffic operations and pedestrian safety; a safe and inviting Main Street which allows truck traffic to travel though Windsor’s downtown.

The Downtown Alternative Route Study was conducted to better understand Main Street traffic patterns and to identify future solutions for improving safety, managing traffic and maintaining downtown vitality. Traffic data and input from the community were considered and findings and recommendations were presented to the Town Board for consideration in January 2023.

Following the downtown traffic analysis, the total estimated potential for rerouting trips from Main St. is up to 725 vehicles per day – less than 5% of the average daily total of over 16,000 vehicles per day. The town will focus on its efforts on the realignment of Weld County Rd. 70 to alleviate potential congestion and improve pedestrian safety on Main St., but this amount of diversion will not substantially reduce traffic operations, so an alternative route isn’t warranted due to lack of east-west route options. The town will continue to identify ways in which to improve conditions to create a more fluid multimodal system for Main St. in the future.

Key Observations & Conclusions

Traffic data was collected in the fall of 2022, including intersection turning counts, daily traffic counts, and travel patterns. Key observations included:

  • Main Street is the busiest east-west street with over 16,000 vehicles per day
  • The busiest travel pattern is along Main Street between 11th Street and 4th Street
  • Most signalized intersections operate at acceptable levels of service

The observed traffic volumes were also used estimate future traffic volumes. Analysis of this data, as well as a review of current conditions for all users of Main Street, resulted in the following key conclusions:

  • Main Street congestion will increase in the future as vehicle volumes grow
  • Pedestrian and bicycle connectivity to and through downtown is limited
  • Trucks cannot be entirely eliminated from downtown due to state law and access needs for local businesses

Community outreach was conducted to understand how people use Main Street and what issues or opportunities they see related to downtown mobility. In August 2022, project team members gathered input at the Windsor Farmer’s Market. A survey taken by 245 people resulted in the following findings:

  • Driving through downtown is the primary way that survey participants use Main Street
  • Downtown congestion and pedestrian safety are major concerns
  • Survey participants favor restricted truck access and intersection improvements

Frequently Asked Questions

How will potential truck routes be evaluated?

Evaluation criteria will be determined with the stakeholder group. Possible factors include route distance, travel time, proximity to sensitive land uses, and roadway characteristics.

Are new traffic counts being collected for the study?

Yes, there is a data collection task. Counts that include vehicle volume, speed, and classification will be collected at numerous intersections and mid-block locations in and around downtown. Origin/destination data will also be collected.

What improvements might be considered for Main Street?

Possible improvements that will be evaluated could include raised medians, enhanced pedestrian crossings, driveway/cross street access modifications, and intersection control modifications.

  • March 2023 Update

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    The Downtown Alternate Route Study was conducted to better understand Main Street traffic and to identify solutions for improving safety, managing traffic, and maintaining downtown vitality.

    Downtown traffic data was collected in the fall of 2022, including intersection operations, daily traffic counts, and total trips between different locations. Current conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists, and trucks in and around downtown were also reviewed. Major findings and recommendations were presented to the Windsor Town Board for consideration in January 2023.


    Key Analysis Observations & Conclusions

    Two key datasets informed traffic analysis: intersection traffic counts and Bluetooth data. Figures below show what was observed. In the map on the right, red arrows indicate the number of vehicles which passed between the various pairs of observation points – 1,452 vehicles were recorded traveling between 11th Street and 4th Street along Main Street, for example.

    • Main Street is the busiest east-west street with over 16,000 vehicles per day
    • The busiest origin/destination pair is along Main Street between 11th Street and 4th Street
    • Most signalized intersections operate at acceptable levels of service


    The current traffic volumes were also used to estimate future (2027 and 2040) traffic volumes in downtown. Analysis of this data, as well as a review of current conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists, and freight vehicles through downtown, resulted in the following key conclusions:

    • Congestion along Main Street will increase in the future as vehicle volumes grow (some improvements are planned)
    • Pedestrian and bicycle connectivity to and through downtown is limited
    • Trucks cannot be entirely eliminated from downtown due to state law and access needs for local businesses



    Downtown Traffic Flow Evaluation

    Following the downtown traffic analysis, six specific travel patterns involving Main Street were identified for more detailed study. The figure at right shows these paths.

    The focus of this evaluation was to understand how many trips from each path could be redirected from Main Street to alternate routes if surrounding street improvements are made. The estimated potential for rerouting trips along each path is:

    • East-west trips along Main Street/Highway 302 (red) – up to 400 vehicles per day
    • Trips between the east and northwest (orange & dark green) – up to 225 vehicles per day
    • Trips between the southwest and northeast (light green) – up to 25 vehicles per day
    • Trips between southeast and northwest (light blue and purple) – up to 75 vehicles per day

    Across all of the paths, the total estimated potential for rerouting trips from Main Street is up to 725 vehicles per day – less than 5% of Main Street’s average daily volume of 16,000 vehicles per day. Key findings from this evaluation include:

    • This amount of trip diversion will not substantially improve downtown traffic operations
    • A designated alternate route may not be warranted


    Recommendations

    Although the potential to reroute traffic from Main Street is limited, there are still steps Windsor can take to improve the overall roadway system, provide and enhance other streets, and improve safety in downtown, including:

    • Construct Weld County Road 70 between Highway 257 and Clydesdale Lane to complete the east-west roadway network
    • Construct the extension of Crossroads Boulevard east of Highway 257
    • Implement recommendations from the Windsor TMP to improve downtown walkability
    • Work with CDOT and surrounding communities to improve operations on alternate routes
Page last updated: 03 Jun 2024, 09:13 AM