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Durango announces focus group to figure out Malfunction Junction

Three meetings to be held with city staff and participants
The city of Durango is creating a resident focus group to work with the city to provide feedback on proposed solutions for the intersection of East Third Avenue, 15th Street, and Florida Road on July 20, in Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

The city of Durango is forming a resident focus group to help address traffic congestion and safety at the intersection of Florida Road, 15th Street and Third Avenue.

The city is accepting applications from residents to join the group. There would be a short string of informational meetings, with time for feedback and discussion at the end.

A city news release says the focus group would ideally consist of five residents who “live in the vicinity of the intersection on 15th Street or East 3rd Avenue, someone who has biked or walked through the intersection, someone who understands engineering concepts, and two others that have no specific relation to the project.”

The city scheduled three meetings through October between City staff and focus group members.

At the first meeting on Monday, city staff will review the history and data of the intersection, the release says.

The second meeting is scheduled for Oct. 16. The main topic is intersection studies and proposed options for addressing issues with intersections.

The third meeting, scheduled for Oct. 23, will be held to provide feedback from the focus group to city staff and discussion.

The intersection of Florida Road, 15th Street and East Third Avenue is known by some as “Malfunction Junction” for good reason.

The problematic three-way intersection is situated on a steep slope at the top of 15th Street in midtown Durango.

It features a yield sign for northbound East Third Avenue traffic and a stop sign for westbound East Third Avenue traffic, and crossings for cyclists and pedestrians.

The intersection received an “F” for “Failing” from the Colorado Department of Transportation because traffic is frequently congested.

Residents who live near or travel the intersection have witnessed speeding, fender-benders and bicycle-vehicle collisions.

The city previously unveiled a plan for a miniature roundabout at the intersection, but some residents pushed back, saying a roundabout won't fit and the grade of the hillside is too steep anyway.


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