Some stoplight alternatives
Dear Editor:According to the newspaper, the town of Basalt intends to install a stoplight this fall at the intersection of Original Road and Highway 82. While I fully support this new stoplight for safety reasons, I also believe that the proliferation of stoplights in the midvalley needs to be addressed. In fact, if this new stoplight were to be added to the mix, it would only be 700 yards from the current stoplight at Willits/Two Rivers Road and Highway 82. Just imagine the congestion caused by the proximity of these two stoplights. I am offering the following alternative proposal:1. Traffic light should be added to the intersection of Highway 82 and Original Road.2. Traffic light should be eliminated at the intersection of Highway 82 and Willits/Two Rivers Road.3. Two Rivers Road should be extended as a frontage road to connect with Original Road.4. Two Rivers Road connection to Highway 82 at Willits Lane intersection should be eliminated. (In other words, intersection should be converted to a T-intersection allowing for access to and from Willits Lane only.) Note: Pedestrian access under Highway 82 would still be available using the existing bike path.5. RFTA bus stops on Highway 82 at Original Road intersection should be eliminated.6. RFTA bus stops should be added to Two Rivers Road just prior to its connection with Original Road.The reasons for the above suggestions are many and varied. Here are what I consider to be the major positive outcomes of incorporating all of the itemized suggestions:1. No net increase in the number of traffic lights in the area.2. Safety improvements for vehicular traffic, pedestrians and bus passengers at the intersection of Highway 82 and Original Road.3. Morning/evening congestion caused by proximity of multiple traffic lights is eliminated.4. Improved situation for upvalley RFTA bus drivers in that Highway 82 quick, triple lane, right-to-left crossover is eliminated.5. Willits Lane remains viable as a three-way intersection. Traffic light at Original Road provides gaps in Highway 82 traffic flow allowing for downvalley vehicles to turn left on to Willits Lane.6. Willits Lane becomes more rural and thus safer for bikers connecting from the existing bike path under Highway 82 to the new bike path across the Roaring Fork River.I truly believe that all of the identified positive outcomes listed above are valid. More and more stoplights on Highway 82 are not going solve our traffic congestion and safety problems. Our energies need to be directed toward creating more frontage roads and/or underpasses. Yes, they may be more expensive in the short run than stoplights – but they also represent a real solution as opposed to a Band-Aid. Look, development in Basalt is booming! Development in El Jebel is booming! Development in Willits is booming! To those who say we cannot afford to add frontage roads and/or underpasses, I say, “If not now, when?”Greg ShugarsBasalt
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