30th Street Connect
3/25/2021: The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) with support from the City of Durango identified the best location for the crossing to be midblock between 30th Street and 29th Street near the Birds egress, based on traffic engineering considerations, evaluation of public feedback, impacts on business’ ingress and egress, transit connectivity, and safety considerations for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. This midblock location minimally impacts turning movements in and out of businesses, avoids disrupting the existing Mountain Middle School traffic plan, avoids utility conflicts, and provides a direct connection between the two transit stops located on this block.
The selection of a midblock crossing with a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) was based on the following safety considerations:
• Midblock crossings increase the visibility of and for pedestrians, and reduce conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles turning at the intersection.
• Midblock crossings are designed to reduce traffic speeds.
• According to FHWA research, RRFBs can enhance safety by reducing crashes between vehicles and pedestrians at unsignalized intersections and mid-block pedestrian crossings by increasing driver awareness of potential pedestrian conflicts.
• Crossings at intersections can create blind spots for motorists turning at the intersection.
• At intersections, motorists are generally more attentive to other cars and will accelerate into traffic without seeing pedestrians crossing.
• At intersection crossings, pedestrians have to be visible to traffic from four directions, rather than just two.
• Midblock crossings help reduce random crossings by giving pedestrians a more direct route to their destination and are recommended at locations where there are transit stops on either side, as is the case at this location.
CDOT has begun design of the crossing, and anticipates construction to begin this fall.
In order to address a lack of safe pedestrian crossings and transit stop accessibility in the North Main corridor, CDOT in coordination with the City of Durango, intends to install ADA curb ramps, a RRFB and pedestrian refuge near 30th Street and North Main Avenue (US Hwy 550). There is currently no safe pedestrian crossing for one-quarter of a mile along Durango’s densely populated North Main Corridor from 27th Street to 32nd Street.
Within this quarter of a mile stretch, there is a high need for safe pedestrian and cyclist connections to transit stops, school zones, residential neighborhoods, businesses, medical facilities, pedestrian amenities (such as the Animas River Trail), and important community services. The project will increase visibility, provide access and connection, reduce traffic speeds, and increase awareness for drivers so that they are more likely to be aware of pedestrians and cyclists making crucial connections to transit facilities, school zones, local businesses, medical facilities, community services, and residential areas.
The City of Durango has been awarded $75,000 of Multi Modal Options Funds (MMOF) which was funded at the State Level out of Senate Bill 267 and $25,000 from the State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) funding program. The City of Durango is providing a local contribution of $95,000 from 2015 Half Cent Sales and Use Tax Funds. CDOT will be matching the City’s contribution
The need for this crossing was identified in both the Multimodal Transportation Plan and the North Main Avenue Corridor Mobility Study. The community placed a high priority on planning for transit service improvements, expansion, and transit convenience in the Multimodal Transportation Plan. The project will support this priority by improving first-mile and last-mile connections to transit, as well as provide essential East and West crossings of North Main Avenue. Multiple letters of support for this North Main Avenue crossing have been submitted to the City of Durango and can be found in the link below. Click Here to see letters of support.
CDOT worked with the City of Durango to conduct outreach for the crossing in January 2021. The City of Durango hosted an online survey to receive input from community members regarding which of the 5 CDOT proposed locations they liked the most. Those comments, which can be found here, were then forwarded to CDOT staff to be included in their decision making process for the crossing location.
The location of the crossing will be near the Birds egress, midblock between 29th Street and 30th Street. The crossing will be outfitted with a crosswalk, pedestrian refuge island and a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB). An example of a RRFB signal with a pedestrian refuge island in Durango is located at Camino del Rio and 7th Street.
RRFB's have been shown to be significantly effective at achieving yielding compliance. According to FHWA research, RRFB's can enhance safety by reducing crashes between vehicles and pedestrians at unsignalized intersections and midblock pedestrian crossings by increasing driver awareness of potential pedestrian conflicts. They are best used with refuge islands to help naturally reduce traffic speeds and provide pedestrians with an intermediate safety refuge while crossing multiple lanes of traffic.
Midblock crossings are useful designs in situations where there are midblock transit stops and/or businesses that are located midblock with shared patrons who are likely to cross midblock instead of walking around to the intersection. In this case, the midblock between 29th Street and 30th Street has midblock transit stops as well as a hotel across from restaurants. Additional information regarding midblock crossings can be found here.