Why are you doing this project?

    The goal of this project is to reduce the number of crashes and improve the level of comfort for all people walking, riding bicycles and driving in the 7th Street and Walnut Street corridors. Also, the Town of Windsor’s Transportation Master Plan identified the 7th and Walnut corridors as early action corridor based on community input and Town Board direction in March 2020.

    How are these recommendations going to make it better?

    The proposed designs will formalize and reorganize spaces in the streets for everyone who is traveling along the corridors. New signage, striping and curbs will provide more awareness and protection for everyone. The new designs are expected to improve compliance with the posted speed limits and increase visibility for people crossing streets. New landscape and lighting will add safety and character.

    Why are you doing a basic and enhanced design? Is that a waste of money?

    The basic designs are intended to be the first step toward the enhanced design. Most of the basic design features will be transferrable to the enhanced design to save time and money. The basic designs allow the project team to immediately address safety changes in 2021. The team will work over the next 3 years to secure grants to help pay for the enhanced design. Also, by making the basic design changes in 2021 more data can be collected to inform the enhanced designs.

    Will these changes make traffic worse?

    Over the next decade daily motor vehicle traffic volumes and travel times are forecasted to increase from commercial, industrial and housing development along the North Front Range and in the Town of Windsor. The recommended changes for 7th and Walnut have been designed based on these forecasts and emphasize crash reduction for all travelers over new motor vehicle lanes or intersection expansion. The recommended changes will formalize lanes at intersections, provide safe spaces for people to cross streets and introduce safe places for people to bicycle along the corridors.

    Why can't 7th Street be widened to four lanes?

    The ability to provide four motor vehicle travel lanes, turn lanes, sidewalks, landscaping, parking and a place for people to ride bicycles in the entire corridor from Eastman Park Drive to Main Street within the existing right of way is not possible. Acquiring additional right of way to widen 7th Street to accommodate four travel lanes was evaluated in the Town of Windsor Roadway Improvement Plan in 2017. The conclusion was that widening would not be possible due to the need to acquire a large number of different private properties in the corridor, removal of old growth trees in Old Town, the overall cost and other constraints at major intersections.

    Why are you adding places for people to ride bikes and walk? Why not focus on moving more cars?

    We are trying to balance the needs and safety of everyone who wants to travel in this area. The 7th and Walnut corridors connect to Windsor Schools, regional trails, parks and downtown Windsor. A top goal of Town of Windsor’s Transportation Master Plan is to reduce crashes and increase comfort for people who are walking and bicycling in the area.

    Can you build a truck route to get all trucks off these corridors?

    Tractor trailer trucks over 45 feet long are currently restricted on 7th Street from New Liberty Road to Main Street and on Walnut Street west of 1st Street. Pre-COVID daily traffic counts of total trucks on 7th street was 34 and Walnut Street was 6. These are trucks that are less than 30 feet long and have three axles. This was considered an acceptable amount and no additional restrictions for the 7th and Walnut corridors are being considered at this time. The 7th and Walnut Street corridor studies are not associated with any regional or local truck route studies.

    Why are you recommending roundabouts along 7th Street at Stone Mountain and Garden? Why not traffic signals or stop signs?

    The project team evaluated stop signs, traffic signals and new turn lane designs for the 7th and Stone Mountain and 7th and Garden intersections using current and future volumes. An engineering study of stop signs determined that they are not warranted based on state and federal criteria. Adding all-way stop signs on 7th Street would have adverse safety impacts and result in unacceptable delay for motor vehicles on 7th Street. Traffic signals were shown to have slightly better performance than all-way stops, but due to the closely spaced Stone Mountain and Garden Intersections, there would not be adequate room for left turning vehicles waiting for green turn signals. This would result in long queues in the through lanes on 7th Street, as well. Traffic analysis of the roundabouts at both closely spaced intersections shows reduced travel times and fewer severe crashes at both intersections. The roundabouts would be smaller than the Eastman Park roundabout to fit within the current right of way. They would have mountable center features to allow larger vehicles (not tractor trailers) to make three-quarter turns. A decade of traffic and crash data from Golden, Fort Collins and Superior, Colorado show similar sized roundabouts reduced intersection delay for all travelers and have lower instances of fatal crashes. The roundabouts can also be a cost-effective investment as they have lower operations costs.

    How much is this going to cost?

    The Town of Windsor currently budgeted $1.2 million for improvements in the 7th Street corridor for 2021. The 2021 budget for Walnut improvements is $400,000. These two projects represent less than 10% of the 2021 Town of Windsor Street Maintenance and Capital budget for 2021. The recommended basic designs for the 7th and Walnut corridors can be implemented within the 2021 budgets and maintained for next two years with current equipment and staff. This will include support from the Colorado Department of Transportation project to repave north 7th Street starting at the Main Street intersection. The recommended enhanced design for 7th Street that includes the roundabouts, pathways, landscaping, lighting and the linear park will require external grant funding and additional maintenance funding. The current planning cost estimate for the entire project would range from $3 to $5 million. The project team will meet with Windsor Town Board in January 2021 about proceeding with additional engineering and design on the enhanced option.  

    Why are you proposing to change some of the angled parking spaces on Walnut Street between the fifth and sixth and the third and fourth Street blocks?

    The current angled parking along these blocks will be a safety concern for the new bicycle lanes. The parking spaces need to be reconfigured to make the Walnut Street bikeway as safe, predicable and consistent as possible. Backing out of a head-in angled parking space into the bike lane presents visibility issues for drivers and bicyclists. Therefore, the team has recommended reconfiguring most of the angle parking into parallel parking. By making this change, the project can be safely implemented in 2021 with available project budget. The total change in parking spaces over the two blocks will be approximately 15 fewer parking spaces.  These lost parking spaces may be able to be supplemented in nearby blocks in the Downtown Parking Study.