Southside Basalt can handle traffic from development, report says

Report recommends a roundabout replacement at Basalt Avenue, Cody Lane intersection

This map shows the development sites considered in the recent traffic study from Kimley-Horn, which concluded that the area could handle the traffic increase with the construction of a single-lane roundabout and some changes to the Colorado Highway 82/Basalt Avenue intersection
Town of Basalt/Courtesy image

Stott’s Mill, the Southside Drive automated car wash, and the Basalt Mini Storage expansion are just a handful of the planned developments for Southside Basalt. A new report says the roads can handle future traffic impacts with just a few changes.

A variety of property owners in that area commissioned a new study on the Southside traffic patterns from Basalt consulting firm Kimley-Horn. It inspected the Basalt Avenue/Colorado Highway 82 intersection, next to the RFTA Basalt Park-n-Ride.

The study came to five main recommendations to accommodate increased traffic in the area:

  1. Remove split phasing on the north/south approaches to Basalt Avenue
  2. Remove the southbound left turn lane onto East Cody Lane to allow room for an additional northbound lane
  3. Construct a single-lane roundabout at the Basalt Avenue, Cody Lane intersection
  4. Traffic signal adjustments to allow overlapping turning movements
  5. Restripe longer turn lanes on Hwy 82 
This chart compares the 2024 traffic study’s development assumptions versus the Town of Basalt’s 2020 Master Plan development assumptions.
Town of Basalt/Courtesy image

The report estimated the new development planned for Southside to generate about 5,118 weekday daily trips, with 309 trips occurring during morning peak hours and 486 trips occurring during the afternoon peak hour.

Curtis Rowe, vice president of Kimley-Horn, said eliminating the split phasing at the intersection would cut traffic delays for turns onto Hwy 82 by about a minute. Currently, left turns from either direction cannot go at the same time. With the changes, they could.

“All of those movements can occur simultaneously,” he said at a Tuesday work session.

Basalt Town Council indicated support for town staff to flesh out a more comprehensive design and a cost estimate for the project, particularly as bolstered traffic capacity on the road could inform an increased density discussion for affordable housing projects.

“It seems like the baselining seems appropriate, especially if that’s going to lead to an opportunity for more affordable housing,” said Mayor David Knight. 

Such a construction project would be paid for — at least partially — by a restricted fund that developments in Southside have paid into in anticipation of a traffic infrastructure project.

Assistant Planning Director James Lindt could not say exactly how much is in the fund, but that the town anticipates at least 40 more Stott’s Mill lots to pay about $1,000 each into the fund.  

The properties included in the evaluation all lie within the Basalt Urban Growth Boundary and could be annexed by the town.

Lindt was clear that the discussion should not include thoughts on increasing potential density for the area laid out in Basalt’s 2020 Master Plan, but it’s a discussion that could come later. 

In 2017, a traffic study by engineering firm SGM considered trip management for upcoming development to Southside. It concluded that with similar improvements, Southside could handle the growth. That study informed the 2020 Master Plan.