Log In

Reset Password
News Education Local News Nation & World New Mexico

What should Durango’s Main Avenue streetscape look like?

Latest city questionnaire asks residents what they want out of a reimagined downtown
Concept No. 1 for the Downtown’s Next Step project includes mid-block trolley stops, permanent curb bulbouts and a middle lane for left turns, among other features. The Durango planning department’s latest questionnaire, available online, is open through March 18. (Courtesy city of Durango)

The city of Durango is asking for additional feedback about what residents want for the future of downtown in a follow-up online questionnaire.

The questionnaire will be open through March 18. It was originally scheduled to close March 4 but was extended so the city could receive more feedback, according to a news release from the city. It has already received more than 700 responses from residents, said Savannah Lytle, planner for the city.

“In this second questionnaire, the questions were focused on what streetscape elements do people prefer from each design,” she said. “Is it the trees? Is it the benches? Is it the bistro spaces? That’s what we want to get a better understanding of: What elements in each of these designs do folks prefer?”

Results from a December-January survey requesting similar feedback from residents were used by the planning department to form a vision statement and a summary of goals and objectives for the Downtown’s Next Step project going forward, Lytle said.

That vision statement helped the planning department formulate conceptual designs that were pitched to residents during a Feb. 16 public hearing.

Lytle said it’s most likely that elements from every design concept will be incorporated into the project, depending on what residents indicate they are most interested in seeing downtown.

Summaries of the conceptual designs are available within the questionnaire. Questions ask residents to gauge how they feel about various elements in each design, including trees and landscaping, bistro and amenity zones, public spaces, and vehicle and bike lanes.

Concept No. 1 includes the following features:

  • 9-foot bistro zone for business displays and outdoor patios.
  • 8-foot sidewalks.
  • 8-foot amenity zone/public space in permanent curb bulbouts (in parking lane).
  • Permanent curb bulbouts at intersections to shorten crossing distances and provide public space.
  • On-street parallel parking (average of 16 spaces per block).
  • Shared lane for bicycles and vehicles.
  • Mid-block trolley stops with additional amenities.
  • 30-foot crossing distance and raised mid-block crossing.
  • Center lane for left turns, deliveries and snow storage.
  • 10-foot wide vehicle travel lanes.
Concept No. 2 includes permanent bulbouts at intersections to shorten crossing distances and 10-feet wide bistro zones for outdoor patio space and business displays, among other features. (Courtesy city of Durango)

Concept No. 2 includes similar features, although it extends outdoor bistro zones to 10 feet, eliminates some on-street parallel parking and shrinks a mid-block pedestrian crossing in concept No. 1.

The third concept’s most notable feature is a two-way 10-foot-wide bicycle track with a 2-foot car-zone buffer space.

Concept No. 4 gives attention to special event space. It suggests the use of protective bollards to separate vehicle lanes from amenity zones. It also suggests infrastructure and materials that can be used to facilitate events, such as electrical power and movable furniture. The fourth concept design also recommends an option to close the street to vehicle traffic in order to take full advantage of street space for special events.

But, with more special features comes a higher bill because of maintenance, engineering and construction required, Andy Rutz, MIG urban designer, says in a short video included with the questionnaire. It also lacks on-street parking.

Rutz said the design could be implemented on one to three blocks along Main Avenue.

Concept No. 4 focuses on accommodating special events and could span one to three blocks on Main Avenue if implemented. (Courtesy city of Durango)

The planning department used the goals it identified after its first survey to gauge how well each of the four conceptual design fits the Downtown’s Next Step vision. Those goals are:

  • Goal No. 1: Supporting growth of local businesses through convenient access with on-street vehicular and bicycle parking while retaining room for truck deliveries.
  • Goal No. 2: Accommodating pedestrians and bicycle traffic on Main Avenue with an “enhanced/expanded pedestrian space,” more shade, safer street crossings, bicycle lanes, support of city transportation services, and trolley stops that stand out.
  • Goal No. 3: Create lasting memories for downtown visitors through more frequent opportunities for public art, more special event infrastructure and more landscaping.
  • Goal No. 4: Making an inclusive space for locals and visitors alike by creating more space for public gatherings and emergency services, provide year-round nighttime amenities and making downtown accessible for all ages.
  • Goal No. 5: Guarantee flexibility and resiliency with improved snow clearance and storage, and maintaining ease of maintenance and use of “climate-sensitive elements.”

The questionnaire, which will remain open until March 18, can be accessed online at https://durangogov.org/downtownmain.


Reader Comments