College Drive Improvements
The City of Durango has contracted with Neil's Excavation and General Contracting, Inc. from Ignacio, Colorado to install a traffic signal at the intersection of East 2nd Avenue and College Drive. As part of the signal installation, the City intends to re-stripe College Drive from East 4th Avenue west to Main Avenue, in order to convert the roadway from four through traffic lanes down to three, creating a road diet. This proposed re-striping will increase safety for pedestrians, provide for bike lanes, and increase the efficiency of turning traffic. The existing configuration of East 2nd Avenue will not change as part of this project.
This project will increase accessibility to and from the downtown core area to the businesses and hotels in the vicinity.
Construction Project Duration: Mid-March to Mid-May 2018
Gregg Boysen, Project Manager, 970-375-4819.
Construction is nearing completion. View the News Release (PDF)
This project is Phase Two of a Three-Phase Road Diet project.
- Phase 1 of the road diet project was implemented along College Drive from Camino del Rio to Main Avenue. Phase 1 is complete.
- Phase 2 of the road diet project is along College Drive from East 4th Avenue west to Main Avenue. Phase 2 is in the construction phase; information is provided on this web page.
- Phase 3 of the road diet project, moving east down the College Drive corridor, is along College Drive from East 4th Avenue to East 8th Avenue, and along East 8th Avenue from College Drive to East 2nd Street.This final phase of the road diet improvements is intended to extend the reconfigured 3 lanes along the length of this "L" shaped corridor. Phase 3 is in the design phase. Public meetings will be announced throughout 2018 during the design process. Learn more about Phase 3
More information about Phase 2:
- Three neighborhood meetings were held to discuss the project details. The meetings were held 9/14/16, 1/30/17, and 7/13/17. In addition, the project scope was discussed at the public Multimodal Advisory Board Meetings.
- The roadway design is based on the Durango Road Diet Study (PDF) prepared by Fehr & Peers traffic engineers in August of 2016. The Fehr & Peers Study indicated that a roadway with one traffic lane in each direction with a center turn lane was as efficient and safer than the current 4-lane configuration plus the proposed 3-lane configuration would also allow for dedicated bicycle lanes on both sides of the roadway. Therefore, as part of proposed improvements to College Drive, the existing lane stripes are going to be removed and new striping and signage in the 3 lane configuration will be installed.
- The reduction of the number of traffic lanes and the incorporation of the dedicated left turn lane and bike lanes will occur beginning at East 3rd Avenue. In the 300 block of College Drive, the westbound outside lane on College Drive will become a dedicated "right-turn only" lane onto northbound East 3rd Avenue. This movement currently occurs at College Drive and Main Avenue and we are just moving it 3 blocks to the east. Then from East 3rd Avenue west to Main Avenue on College Drive the lane configuration will be a single through lane in each direction, one center left-turn lane, and one bicycle lane in each direction.
- Each of the three intersections along College Drive, Main, 2nd and 3rd Avenues, will be providing dedicated green bike boxes for turning bicyclist.
- To increase the pedestrian safety and the pedestrian accessibility to both the north and south side of College Drive in the 100 and 200 block area, a traffic signal is proposed to be installed at the intersection of College Drive and East 2nd Avenue. To reduce the distance pedestrians are required to cross the streets, bumpouts are proposed on 3 of the intersection's corners. All of the corners will include new ADA compliant handicapped ramps. The traffic signal equipment will include pedestrian crossing push button poles meeting ADA requirements. The timing of the new traffic signal at College Drive and East 2nd Avenue will be coordinated with the other signals along College Drive in an attempt to manage (reduce) traffic speed and at the same time make the roadway as efficient as possible. Five parking spots will be removed along the north side of College between Main Avenue and 2nd Avenue.
- The City is experiencing vehicles queuing, or stacking, on College Drive at the intersection of Main Avenue extending to the train tracks to the west and to East 2nd Avenue to the east causing potential train / car conflicts and reducing the ability of the intersections to function. This is a result of the "Pedestrian Scramble" or "Barnes Dance" configuration at the intersection. The Pedestrian Scramble allows pedestrians to cross diagonally across the intersection. Since this is a greater distance, more time must be provided for the pedestrian to cross the distance. The Fehr & Peers Study determined the intersection Level of Service (LOS) would increase if the Pedestrian Scramble were removed and a traditional pedestrian crossing configuration were reinstated. This will provide a solution to the car stacking. The project includes the removal of the Pedestrian Scramble signage and the re-striping of the piano key pedestrian street crossing stripes.
What is a road diet?
The road diet program intends to allow greater multimodal opportunities to the public and at the same time improve vehicle safety. Road diets have been installed on roadways across the U.S. that carry nearly twice the traffic volumes, up to an average daily traffic (ADT) of 23,000 vehicles per day, as College Drive (10,558 ADT) and East 8th Avenue (13,629 ADT) in Durango.
Road diets have been found to be more successful than the previously existing conditions in terms of improving business visibility and access, improving left-turn capabilities, maintaining and, in cases, improving traffic flow, reducing rear-end and sideswipe crashes, and improving bicycling conditions and safety, among other benefits (Road Diet Handbook: Setting Trends for Livable Streets).