CDOT seems committed to confusing drivers

This taxpayer’s opinion is in response to the Feb. 25 front-page story in The Durango Herald concerning the new construction project proposed by the Colorado Department of Transportation to “improve” the DoubleTree intersection for $6.1 million.

The only thing more alarming than having 30,000 to 45,000 cars pass through the DoubleTree intersection every day is the thought of having 30,000 to 45,000 confused drivers driving through that intersection. What is CDOT thinking? Is it really a problem that requires such radical changes to our traffic flow?

The last time we let CDOT run amuck, it poured 10 million pounds of concrete on U.S. Highway 550 to divide the north and southbound traffic lanes when the real problem was the traffic lights. The concrete divider makes the main entrance to our city look like the entrance to a Russian border crossing. The only visual difference is the armed guards and graffiti painted on the concrete panels.

Is Durango the testing ground for new traffic experiments? Have you ever looked at the traffic solutions in this area? Signals that are not synchronized with each other, allowing traffic in one direction to continue while the opposing traffic is stopped. Flashing yellow arrows that send mixed messages to drivers making left turns. Traffic lanes that prevent you from moving over (southbound Highway 3/550 at Walmart) causing bottlenecks and accidents with confused drivers and last but not least, a bridge to nowhere!

And now, to further confuse drivers, an avant-garde left-turn lane at the DoubleTree intersection. No wonder we have so many deadly T-bone accidents. CDOT needs to stop confusing drivers and finish one project before starting another. Why don’t we use the $6.1 million to help finish the bridge to nowhere rights of way.

Darryl Metz


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