Update - Results of April 3, 2018 City Council Meeting
At the April 3, 2018 City Council meeting, the following motion was made:
Councilor Sheldon moved, seconded by Councilor Blum to direct the City Manager to immediately discontinue any design work on the proposed Quincy/Colorado roundabout and present City Council at the next available Council meeting an ordinance to return the funds in the amount of $500,000 to the General Fund balance and $250,000 to the Parks and Recreation Fund balance, less any amounts expended to date that were previously appropriated for the roundabout design work via Ordinance 2, Series 2018, and remove the $750,000 appropriation from the 2018 Capital Fund budget.
The motion passed unanimously.
Public comments received by 4:30 p.m. on March 29, 2018 were included as part of the April 3, 2018 City Council meeting packet. Public comments received between 4:30 p.m. March 29, 2018 and 4:30 p.m. April 3, 2018 were transmitted to City Council and were included as part of the public record for the April 3, 2018 City Council meeting.
Conceptual Plan View
When is the next meeting on the one-lane roundabout?
Date: Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018
Location: St. Mary's Academy, 4545 S. University Boulevard (Community Room Cafeteria)
Can I speak at the meeting?
Yes, the City Council encourages all residents to participate at the public forum or you can send any written comments to the City Clerk: firstname.lastname@example.org. Each speaker is required to sign up and provide their name and address and will be provided 3 minutes to state their views.
If my spouse speaks, can I also speak?
Why is there a huge rush to construct a one-lane roundabout?
There is no rush. In fact, addressing traffic problems is one of the matters that City Council and staff address many times during a year. The Village completed a comprehensive traffic study in 2017, which documented the traffic problem areas in the Village, including the Colorado Blvd/Quincy Ave intersection and the entrance to Kent Denver. The results of this study were the subject of a public forum in September 2017.
Kent Denver has had two major expansion projects come before the City Council in the last year. In March of 2017, the new Kent Denver Middle School was approved and in February of 2018 the new Upper School was approved. While the Middle School was approved without the imposition of any traffic mitigation measures, Kent Denver was advised at that time that resolving traffic problems associated with their entrance would be a serious consideration for the Upper School approval. Kent Denver was therefore required to provide a detailed traffic report that looked at a number of solutions to improve traffic at their main driveway and at the Quincy Ave/Colorado Blvd intersection. After an extensive and thorough evaluation of traffic alternatives, staff and Kent Denver negotiated a Development Agreement that included the following:
- Kent Denver retains the right to increase student population from 700 to 800 without going to the Village for further traffic consideration and analysis.
- Kent Denver agrees to donate to the Village the land necessary to construct a one-lane roundabout at Colorado Blvd and Quincy Ave. The offer of the land and the construction of the one-lane roundabout can be exercised at any time prior to February of 2026. If the one-lane roundabout is completed prior to 2026, Kent Denver will close their existing driveway and realign the driveway and connect it to the one-lane roundabout (although the parties could agree to permit limited right in only traffic depending on traffic and safety considerations).
The agreement gave Kent Denver the right to proceed with construction of their projects and meet their expedited project schedules, while the Village retains the right, but not the obligation, to put in a one-lane roundabout anytime in the next eight years.
Why did Council budget for the one-lane roundabout at this time?
Budgeting for possible capital improvements is prudent. If funds were not available in the budget for design there would not be a one-lane roundabout for the public to review. Funds are reserved in the budget to assure that the Village is able to afford the expenditure if or when such sums are needed. This has been the case in multiple Village projects over the years. Funds not expended go back into the budget.
How many lanes would the one-lane roundabout have?
How would the one-lane roundabout function?
Below is a drawing that shows how the one-lane roundabout would function. It is not to scale and is designed to show how traffic would flow, not the relative size of the lane. The advisory speed limit on the one-lane roundabout will be 15 miles an hour, and will be posted as such. The turn into the one-lane roundabout will be designed in a manner that requires the vehicle to slow down before entering the one-lane roundabout. (Not shown on drawing, but see Conceptual Plan View above). There will be splitter islands bifurcating the two cross walks. There will also be flashing crosswalk lights that pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians can initiate (similar to the crosswalk lights at the High Line Canal), so that cars are alerted to the requirement of stopping when the crosswalk is in use.
Why here and why now?
Traffic on Quincy Avenue and Colorado Boulevard has experienced poor traffic flow in the morning and evening peak hours for several years and the Village has received numerous complaints over that time. Based upon a recent traffic study prepared by Matrix Design Group on behalf of Kent Denver, as part of their Expanded Use Permit application, the existing traffic congestion on Quincy Ave/Colorado Blvd and at Quincy Ave/Kent Denver driveway currently operate at unacceptable LOS in both the AM and PM peak hours as shown below:
|Level of Service (LOS) Existing|
|Location||AM (7:15-8:15)||PM (5:00-6:00)|
|Quincy/Kent Denver Driveway||E||E|
Traffic LOS are similar to school grades, LOS of “A” means free flowing and no delays while a LOS of “F” means heavy congestion and the traffic demand exceeds the capacity of the intersection.
If a one-lane roundabout is constructed, the existing Kent Denver driveway would be realigned to Colorado Blvd, thereby eliminating one intersection. The new one-lane roundabout design is estimated to improve traffic flow and have a LOS as shown below:
|Level of Service (LOS) with One-Lane Roundabout|
|Location||AM (7:15-8:15)||PM (5:00-6:00)|
|Quincy/Kent Denver Driveway*||N/A||N/A|
| *This intersection would be eliminated with the one-lane roundabout option.|
The Village is not in a hurry to construct road improvements and is seeking public input on April 3rd. In the agreement with Kent Denver, the Village has 8 years to decide if the one-lane roundabout should be installed. However, to begin the process of fully evaluating the one-lane roundabout at this location, the Village's traffic engineer has been engaged to provide a preliminary design layout.
Is Kent Denver's expansion causing the need for improved traffic flow?
In the morning peak hour, 60% of all the traffic on Quincy Ave at the Kent Denver Driveway is either going into or exiting from Kent Denver. For the afternoon peak hour, 35% of all traffic on Quincy Ave at Kent Driveway is entering or exiting Kent Denver. The remainder of the traffic is either going to other locations in the Village, residents commuting to work, or cut-through traffic.
Kent Denver has received approvals to build a new middle school (nearing completion) and upper school (will start later this year) and will be increasing their total campus square footage by approximately 50,000 square feet. At this time, Kent Denver is not proposing to increase student enrollment over the existing 700 students. In the future, at Kent Denver's option, the enrollment can be increased by an additional 100 students without any further Village review. Any student enrollment over 800 would require additional permitting by the Village. If an additional 100 students were enrolled at the school, traffic volumes would likely increase by an additional 100-200 traffic trips in the morning and afternoon commutes.
Has the City Council already approved the construction of the one-lane roundabout and how would it be funded?
No, the construction of the one-lane roundabout has not been approved. The City Council has authorized the Village's traffic engineering firm (Kimley Horn) to begin the early design phase of a single-lane rural roundabout at Quincy Ave/Colo Blvd. The early design phase is to collect survey data, provide a general layout of the one-lane roundabout and develop a rendering of what it may look like. That information is to be brought forward on April 3rd for public input and City Council review. At the meeting, the City Council may decide to either continue or delay the preliminary design work, or they can opt to halt the project.
The funding of the project would come from $500,000 in the General Fund reserves and $250,000 from Park Fund reserves. As is typical with Park funds, they would be utilized to pay for trail improvements, landscaping and irrigation. The Village has sufficient reserve funds to allocate to these types of projects. No new taxes are necessary to implement this project.
What other alternatives have been studied?
A number of alternatives were studied during the Kent Denver Expanded Use Permit process to include:
- Realign Kent Denver Driveway to Colo Blvd and install a 4-way stop*
- Realign Kent Denver Driveway to Colo Blvd and install a 4-way stop with Uniformed Traffic Control in AM*
- Realign Kent Denver Driveway to Colo Blvd and install a signal*
- Install a one-lane roundabout at Kent Denver Driveway
- Install a one-lane roundabout at Kent Denver Driveway and a Uniformed Traffic Control at Colo Blvd in AM
- Install a one-lane roundabout at Kent Denver Driveway and a signal at Colo Blvd
- Install a one-lane roundabout at Kent Denver Driveway and a roundabout at Colo Blvd
- Widen Quincy Ave to accommodate left or right turn pockets at Kent Denver Driveway and Colo Blvd
- Provide Uniformed Traffic Control at both Quincy Ave/Colo Blvd and Quincy Ave/Kent Denver Driveway
*Included with these options was discussion of leaving the existing Kent Denver driveway in place and changing that driveway to be right-in and right-out only, which has some merit. Also, the option to utilize Kent Denver's most westerly driveway was discussed, but the westerly driveway is not feasible for the school traffic circulation.
In addition to the studied alternatives, discussion of additional busing, carpooling, and staggered start times have been had with Kent Denver.
After reviewing all options, the Quincy Ave/Colorado Blvd one-lane roundabout provided the best combination of improved traffic flow with pedestrian safety. A one-lane roundabout is often utilized in both rural and urban areas in order to improve traffic flow and reduce accidents.
What would happen if the start/end times of Kent Denver and Cherry Hills Village Elementary School were staggered?
In comparing the traffic counts on Quincy Avenue in both 2016 (school times staggered) and (school times not staggered), the peak hourly traffic volume at Quincy Avenue and the Kent Denver driveway were nearly the same. Therefore, having staggered start times would not change the total traffic flowing through the intersection during the peak hour and would not change the LOS or the overall congestion, unless the staggered times were offset by at least one hour. What would be different is that the traffic flow would change from one peak flow into 2 staggered peak flows during the 7:15-8:15 AM time period.
Would a one-lane roundabout slow vehicles down?
Yes, roundabouts are an effective option for managing vehicle speeds while efficiently moving traffic through an intersection. The design of a one-lane roundabout uses the curvature of the approach and center island to control vehicle speed to slow down to approximately 15 miles per hour while in the roundabout. Speed advisory signs would be installed on all approaches to the intersection.
Do one-lane roundabouts improve vehicle safety? Pedestrian/Bicycle/Equestrian safety?
Yes, see links below. Studies have consistently shown that roundabouts are safer than traditional stop sign or signal-controlled intersections. Roundabouts are a Proven Safety Countermeasure recommended by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Safety.
Safety Benefits of One-Lane Roundabouts
Roundabouts reduced injury crashes by 75 percent at intersections where stop signs or signals were previously used for traffic control, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Studies by the IIHS and Federal Highway Administration have shown that roundabouts typically achieve:
There are several reasons why one-lane roundabouts help reduce the likelihood and severity of collisions:
- Low travel speeds – Drivers must slow down and yield to traffic before entering a roundabout. Speeds in a one-lane roundabout are normally around 15 miles per hour. The collisions that occur in roundabouts are typically minor and cause few injuries since they occur at such low speeds.
- No stop sign to run/roll – One-lane roundabouts are designed to promote a continuous, circular flow of traffic. Drivers need only yield to traffic before entering a roundabout. If there are no stops in the roundabout, drivers are not required to stop.
- One-way travel – The curved roads and one-way travel around the roundabout eliminate the possibility for T-bone and head-on collisions.
- Pedestrian Safety – Pedestrians have minimum exposure to traffic as vehicles are moving in one direction and at a slow rate of speed. The pedestrian only needs to cross a single travel lane of pavement to get to the splitter island which provides a refuge for the pedestrian before advancing to cross the other travel lane.
- Fewer Conflict Points – One-lane roundabouts have fewer conflict points for both vehicles and pedestrians as compared to a conventional four-leg intersection, and relocating the Kent Driveway to Colorado Boulevard further reduces the number of conflict points along Quincy Avenue
Will a police officer be needed with a one-lane roundabout?
No, the one-lane roundabout will operate effectively without the need for a police traffic control officer, saving Kent Denver approximately $18,000 per year (at current rates). More importantly, this would eliminate the potential for an officer involved accident.
Why is the Village concerned about its officers directing traffic at the entrance to Kent Denver?
Quincy Avenue is relatively narrow at the entrance to Kent Denver and there is little margin for error. To date there have been a few close calls, but no mishaps. It is no secret that distracted and aggressive driving is increasing. It is not a matter of whether an officer will be hit, it’s a matter of when. The one-lane roundabout eliminates the need for an officer directing traffic.
Not placing our officers at unnecessary risk should be a priority and concern of not only our City Council but also our residents. The Village will be exploring options at Kent Denver and elsewhere, to address officer safety, where needed.
Will a one-lane roundabout increase crime?
No, there are no known correlation studies to show that reducing traffic congestion with a one-lane roundabout will increase crime.
Will a one-lane roundabout encourage cut-through traffic?
For most parts of the day, traffic along Belleview Ave, University Blvd, and Hampden Ave flow at high rates of speed and therefore, it is quicker to stay on the state highway routes than to utilize residential roads. However, when those highways become gridlocked, commuters will attempt to find alternative routes to their destination using the latest technologies. The construction of a one-lane roundabout in lieu of the existing stop sign configuration is unlikely to result in a significant change in traffic patterns, particularly since the one-lane roundabout will not change the 30 miles per hour speed limit on Quincy Avenue.
Will a one-lane roundabout affect air pollution on Quincy Avenue?
Idling vehicles create higher concentrations of air pollutants, including particles. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, eliminating the unnecessary idling of personal vehicles in the United States would be the equivalent of taking 5 million vehicles off the roads.
A one-lane roundabout at Quincy Avenue would be better for the environment and public health. Particulate emissions created by idling traffic are heavy and because they are along the ground, they are more likely to impact both those sitting in traffic and those living alongside. There are numerous scientific national and international studies showing that both long and short term exposure to these emissions can have serious adverse health impacts especially to at risk children and adults with lung or heart disease.
Does the Village have other traffic improvements planned within the Village?
Yes, the Village is continuing to evaluate many areas and alternatives to address neighborhood traffic concerns. Currently, the Village is looking into pedestrian/bicycle improvements along Mansfield Ave, slowing vehicles on Franklin St, establishing policies for flashing speed signs, speed humps, increasing the use of speed trailer and enforcement, along with other traffic calming measures. The Village continues to monitor other known traffic problem areas such as Cherry Hills Elementary, St. Mary’s, Glenmoor entrance, etc. Some problems have more readily available solutions while others require CDOT approval and are more complicated. In all cases we continue to review and find an optimum solution where applicable.
What will happen if the one-lane roundabout does not get constructed?
The two intersections and the LOS will remain the same. It is anticipated that ambient growth of the region will increase traffic by about 0.5-1% per year.
Can I put "#SaveQuincy" signs in my yard?
Yes, they must be entirely on private property and in accordance with any homeowner association covenants. Any signs (not just #SaveQuincy signs) that are placed in medians, parkways, and other Village rights-of-way will be removed by Village Code Enforcement. All removed signs will be stored at the Police Department for 30 days. Owners can arrange to pick up their signs and place them onto their private property.
Where can I find more information on #SaveQuincy?
Here is the link to the #SaveQuincy website (click here).