Upcoming Board Meeting: New Option for Weldona Traffic4 min read
At last week’s Town Board meeting (which I recapped here), the Board of Trustees decided to continue the discussion of traffic / connectivity options this Monday, August 27th. Last night, the Town staff published the agenda and meeting packet for Monday’s meeting – which you can view here.
In the Weldona Way cover memo, Town staff has presented a new option that wasn’t discussed last week or brought up in the resident meeting that occurred on August 11th at resident Elisabeth Nelson’s house. Option #1 is the oft-discussed close Weldona to 88th Street; option #2 is to prevent left hand turns from Akron to Coal Creek by adding a median onto Coal Creek. It should be noted that this option would block left turns from Akron Coal Creek on both sides of Akron (east and west).
This second option was brought up at the last Board meeting, but was not included in the June 2017 survey that went out to more than 400 residents, the results from which I have summarized here:
The survey went out to 400+ households, and 99 responses were received – so less than a 25% response rate, since most households have more than one adult. Since the survey was sent, the town added the speed humps (the survey option with the highest favorability, with the next highest being the option to do nothing). In June 2018, the Transportation & Safety Committee reviewed the effectiveness of the speed humps and found a 6mph drop in the 85th percentile speed, from 26mph to 20mph (data here) – this is the lowest 85th percentile speed of any streets tracked by the Town. At the meeting, Ken Lish (one of my co-candidates for Trustee) commented that he felt that the speed humps on Weldona have been effective in slowing traffic and getting better compliance with the stop signs (full notes here). For more on the history of the Weldona traffic issues, the Town staff did a great job summarizing in this meeting’s cover memo.
I think it’s interesting to see what a low response rate there was to the survey – it makes it difficult to draw any conclusions from the data when more than 75% of residents didn’t feel compelled to respond. For this upcoming Board meeting, the town has posted public notices on Coal Creek, 88th, Akron, and Weldona, and also sent notices to over 280 residents. I hope these notices encourage residents to come out for the August 27th meeting (or at least email the Board ahead of time – click here to do so), but my guess is that we’ll continue to get a vocal minority from which it is difficult for the Board to draw data-based conclusions.
In terms of actual data, Town Staff has pulled together the cost of each option, as well as the impacts on traffic. You can view those here and here, but I’ve combined them into one table to make it easier to see all the info in one place:
Looking at the data, closing Weldona and 88th will drive much more traffic to Coal Creek (an incremental 1,625 cars per day), while of course eliminating traffic at Weldona / 88th. The Board has used the analogy of squeezing a balloon – the traffic has to go somewhere, and closing Weldona at 88th forces everyone in the neighborhood to exit out Coal Creek.
In contrast, removing the left turn option from Akron will only drive an incremental 525 cars per day to Coal Creek, but will reduce the traffic at Weldona / 88th by 210 cars per day. However, it should be noted that estimated 2038 traffic on Weldona will still increase by 15 cars per day over today’s 1,400 cars per day, which some residents believe is too high. In the August 13th Board Meeting, transportation consultant Chris McGranahan from LSE Consulting said that most towns are not comfortable with more than 1,500 cars per day on a neighborhood road with driveways (like Weldona), and we are approaching that limit.
After the Weldona traffic discussion, the Board will continue the public hearing for Boulder Creek Neighborhoods’ plan to develop Lanterns Way. The main holdup for this the last time was the traffic discussions, particularly with regard to connectivity to Superior Town Center (via Coal Creek) – so that will likely be the bulk of the discussion. No additional data or changes to the plan have come out since the August 13th meeting, other than the updated cover memo. However, I’d encourage you to read my recap of the August 13th meeting to understand the debate among the Board members around southern connectivity from Rock Creek to Superior Town Center.
Finally, before all these traffic discussions, Fair Maps Colorado will be doing a presentation on Colorado Amendments Y and Z for Congressional and Legislative redistricting, respectively. These are proposals to create balanced independent commissions to draw political maps, to prevent gerrymandering. I would highly encourage all registered voters to learn more about this initiative, which will be on the ballot this fall – here’s an unbiased overview from Ballotpedia.
I’d love to hear your opinions on these traffic / connectivity options! Please feel free to comment below, and share this information with your friends and neighbors so that everyone is aware of the decisions being made on Monday and has the opportunity to voice their opinion.