RFTA OKs funding for bus lane in Glenwood Springs
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE – The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority board of directors agreed at its Thursday meeting to fund a share of the cost to designate a northbound bus and right turn-only lane through the south end of Glenwood Springs.
Striping that is to be part of a Colorado Department of Transportation resurfacing project on Highway 82 (South Glen Avenue) in the stretch from 32nd to 24th streets starting in September will include a separate 12-foot lane for buses and right turns.
RFTA will also ask that bicycles be allowed to use the lane, which will be in addition to the two main northbound traffic lanes. The lane will not be open to general vehicle traffic, other than for immediate right turns.
The transit authority will pick up $285,000 of the total $570,000 cost for the Glenwood portion of the project. CDOT began work this week to resurface Highway 82 from Basalt to Glenwood Springs with a new layer of asphalt.
The dedicated bus lane in Glenwood Springs will help move buses through the south part of town and keep them on schedule, especially during the evening period when traffic is congested, RFTA CEO Dan Blankenship said after Thursday’s meeting in Carbondale.
“This benefits us now, and especially in the future as BRT [Bus Rapid Transit] is implemented,” Blankenship said.
Voters a few years ago approved a RFTA sales tax increase to fund BRT, which will include more frequent valleywide buses and more express buses between Glenwood Springs and Aspen, as well as new bus stop facilities. The ramped-up bus system is expected to be implemented by the fall of 2013, Blankenship said.
RFTA and CDOT officials recently discussed the dedicated bus lane with Glenwood Springs city staff, who indicated support for the project. Information about the re-striping plan was included in the City Council’s July 1 packet but was not discussed.
“Once completed, the new bus lane will allow RFTA and Ride Glenwood buses to avoid traffic congestion in this section of South Glen Avenue, while still allowing vehicles to make right turns,” Blankenship and CDOT engineer Joe Elsen wrote in the July 1 memo to Glenwood City Council. “The lane will be signed and striped to deter non-bus vehicles from using it as a through lane.”
The repaving work is expected to take about two weeks, beginning in September, and is to take place during non-peak hours to minimize traffic disruption and delays, according to the memo.
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