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Bike lanes proposed on two sides of West Chatfield Avenue

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Public treated to preview of $3 million makeover of South Jeffco artery scheduled for groundbreaking in spring 2013

By Vicky Gits

The Jeffco Transportation and Engineering Division held an open house Oct. 24 to get public reaction to changes the department is proposing for the 2-mile stretch of West Chatfield Avenue from Ken-Caryl Avenue to Garrison Street.

The project, expected to cost about $3 million, is funded by the 0.5-cent Southeast Jefferson County 2001 Sales Tax Improvement Program.

It will be the county’s major construction project in 2013.

That stretch of West Chatfield Avenue is a four-lane thoroughfare bordered by condominium developments and apartment buildings.

The four lanes are divided by a dropped median. Designed for carrying a lot of traffic at relatively high speed, the street has a limited number of access points.

Several neighborhood residents mentioned they would like more turnoffs so they don’t have to drive past their buildings and make a U-turn half a mile away.

Some were concerned about removing a large number of mature trees in the median strip. (Trees need to be removed because in most places the median will be made narrower to accommodate the addition of bike lanes.)

The meeting was held in the Falcon Bluffs Middle School cafeteria on Garrison Street. About 70 people attended.

Dave Evans of Littleton, a member of Bike Jeffco and a prominent bicycle advocate, was pleased to see 4-foot-wide bike lanes added in either direction.

The list of proposed changes includes the following major features, in addition to the bike lanes:

• At the intersection with Kipling Parkway, add a free-flowing eastbound-to-southbound right turn lane and second eastbound through lane. (One attendee said traffic frequently backs up there because people expect to see two through lanes, but the two lanes turn into one lane.)

• Eliminate parking on Chatfield Avenue between Iris Way and Garrison Street to make room for bike lanes.

• Add a left-turn lane for eastbound Chatfield Avenue to the units at Chatfield Commons.

•Add a raised median and pedestrian refuge at the trail crossing south of Ken Caryl Avenue to improve safety.

• Add sidewalk in segments on vacant land where walks are missing. 

• Fix drainage problems at the northwest corner of the Chatfield-Kipling intersection.

Other upgrades include improving the northwest curb and gutter at Kipling Parkway and eliminating the icing concerns at the southwest corner of Shaffer Parkway.

Kevin French, director of Transportation and Engineering, said the division was in the process of installing timed pedestrian lights at all the crossings.

The final design is expected to be complete in mid-November, and construction bids will be collected in January 2013.

For information, visit https://www.co.jeffco.us/highways/highways_T48_R55.htm.

 

Contact Vicky Gits at vicky@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22. Follow her at Twitter.com/newsbyvicky.