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Roundabouts for East 32nd Street? Durango considers ‘traffic calming devices’

Ideas include landscaped medians, narrower lanes and improved crosswalks
The city of Durango is considering adding traffic calming devices to East 32nd Street to help slow down traffic and make it safer for bikes and pedestrians. Traffic calming measures could include roundabouts, landscaped medians and narrower lanes. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The city of Durango is considering traffic calming devices for East 32nd Street, an arterial road that connects the northeast quadrant of town with Main Avenue, making it a highly traveled road for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.

East 32nd Street acts as an arterial road for northeast Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The goal is to address speeding and safety concerns by using design elements that narrow the road and help slow traffic, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the city.

Proposed traffic calming devices include narrower traffic lanes, buffered bike lanes, intermittent landscaped medians, roundabouts, traffic calming circles and improved crosswalks, according to the release. The improvements would be made from East Second Avenue to Holly Avenue.

The city will hold a virtual meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 30 to present examples of different traffic calming design options intended to make the road safer. The meeting will be held via Zoom, Durangogov.org/zoom. It will be the first of two meetings to discuss the project.

As is, 32nd Street is a two-lane road with an unraised median, making it feel wide and safe for speeds higher than the posted 25 mph speed limit, said Devin King, multimodal administrator for the city. But it is also a residential road, with many side streets and driveways that directly access the road, he said.

The city of Durango is considering traffic calming measures for East 32nd Street, including roundabouts, landscaped medians and narrower lanes. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)
The city of Durango is considering traffic calming measures for East 32nd Street, including roundabouts, landscaped medians and narrower lanes. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)
The city of Durango is considering adding traffic calming measures to East 32nd Street, such as roundabouts, landscaped medians and improved crosswalks. (Courtesy city of Durango)

“Fatality rates from vehicle crashes involving pedestrians goes up considerable once you go above 30 mph,” King said in a news release. “… With various subdivisions and multifamily housing on 32nd Street, this is a major connection for pedestrians and bicyclists to connect to the North Main Corridor and the Animas River Trail to get into downtown.”

The city’s Multimodal Transportation Plan calls for Durango to be safe enough for middle school-aged children to be able to navigate the city safely on their own by biking, walking or using transit, the news release said.

The design process for the project will extend through 2021 and will include two public meetings to gather feedback from the community. The second meeting has not yet been scheduled.

The city of Durango is considering landscaped medians and roundabouts, among other traffic calming improvements for East 32nd Street. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

“We’re going to throw out some options ... and we kind of want to get the public’s feedback regarding the options ... just to get a feeling for what the community would want to see there or really doesn’t want to see there,” King said.

The city has budgeted $198,070 to design the project. The money comes from a 2015 half-cent sales and use tax.

shane@durangoherald.com

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