Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Drivers beware of sun glare

Image result for sun glare
Image credit: Flickr
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) closed eastbound Interstate I-70 at mile marker 244 on Monday morning due to 'extreme sun glare.' Sun glare can be a dangerous problem for drivers, especially from November through February due to the sun's angle. The configuration of certain roadways leaves some areas especially vulnerable. Follow these tips from CDOT to prepare for sun glare:
  • Make sure your windshield is clean — inside and out
  • Wear a good pair of sunglasses to provide shading
  • Expect traffic slowdowns and adjust your speed to avoid sudden reactions
  • Let off the accelerator and slow down gradually instead of slamming on the brakes, if suddenly blinded by the sun
Red more from the Coloradoan.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

CDOT and Kraemer/IHC to begin negotiations to build North I-25 Express Lanes: Johnstown to Fort Collins

Image Credit: Denver Post
On November 17, CDOT opened bids for the North I-25 Express Lanes: Johnstown to Fort Collins project. Kraemer/IHC was recommended for the project and negotiation for the final award is underway. The project will add a northbound and southbound express lane from Johnstown to Fort Collins, replacing aging bridges, widening bridges, and adding pedestrian and bicycle access under I-25 at Kendall Parkway in the process. The project will also connect the Cache la Poudre River Regional Trail under I-25.

The project has been made possible through extensive partnerships with local staff and elected officials from Larimer and Weld counties, Fort Collins, Berthoud, Johnstown, Loveland, Windsor, Timnath and McWhinney. Construction is set to begin in 2018 and will be completed late in 2021. Throughout construction, two lanes in each direction will remain open and lane closures will occur at night during low traffic hours.

For more information, read the full article on CDOT’s news page.

Region comes one step closer to transit connecting Greeley, Windsor, and Fort Collins

Image credit: NFRMPO Staff
At Greeley City Council’s work session on Tuesday, Greeley-Evans Transit (GET) Manager Will Jones presented data on routes alternatives, costs, and a resident survey regarding a regional bus route between Greeley, Windsor, and Fort Collins. City Council members voiced support for continued work on the regional route, citing benefits such as reduced congestion. A regional route ran from 2009 to 2011 in Northern Colorado and ultimately failed, but Jones is confident demand has grown in the area based on survey results. Tentatively, GET would purchase five buses, with 80 percent of the $2.8M cost covered by state and federal grants. Annual operations would cost $525,000 with some further grant support anticipated. The timeline is still uncertain, but regional transportation is highlighted in GET’s 5-10 year plan.

Read more about survey results, route alternatives, and scheduling from The Greeley Tribune.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Aging of Colorado and its Impact on Employment

Image credit: Bureau of Labor Statistics

It is common knowledge America's population is aging and this is leading to a shift in certain segments of the economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its long-term occupational employment projections from 2016 to 2026. As shown in this report, the demographic shift has led to an increase in healthcare-related services and employment. A mix of jobs will see the largest growth as a result, including home health aides, personal care aides, and physical therapy aides, Physicians Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, and Physical Therapists. This will lead to a bifurcation of the health-care economy between higher paid, higher education jobs and lower paid, lower education jobs.

More analysis about this report is available from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving DUI Enforcement to Crack Down on Impaired Drivers

Image Credit: CDOT
DUI enforcement efforts are ramping up this holiday weekend across the state. Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and over 100 other agencies are participating in the enforcement campaign, known as The Heat Is On campaign, to reduce injuries and fatalities caused by impaired drivers. The campaign runs from Friday, November 17 through Monday, November 27 and could include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, or an increased number of patrols.

To confirm you are sober before you drive, CDOT recommends personal breathalyzers and also offers the free R-U-Buzzed app which tracks blood alcohol content (BAC) based on weight, gender, and the number of drinks consumed within a given time.

For more information on the campaign, see the CDOT Press Release.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The @RideBustang Service continues to grow, further route expansion possible

Bustang bus in Colorado Springs. Image credit: Bustang/Instagram

 The CDOT-operated transit system, known as Bustang, continues to grow as people take the three lines radiating from Denver's Union Station to Fort Collins, Glenwood Springs, and Colorado Springs. According to CDOT, Bustang has seen a nearly 25 percent jump between July and November compared with the same period in 2016. This is in addition to the rapid growth that has come in the transit system's two years. The success could lead to additional routes, including a possible Frisco-to-Steamboat Springs route. Other changes include the Bustang Outrider program, which will pull subsidized bus routes operated by Greyhound and other transit agencies under the Bustang banner.

Read more in the article from the Aspen Times.

CDOT, Arrivo and E-470 Announce Major Partnership to Build Hyperloop-Inspired Transportation System

Arrivo Denver Tubes. Image Credit: Nick Harper (CIG)
Yesterday a public-private partnership was announced to bring hyperloop-inspired infrastructure to the greater Denver region. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), E-470 Public Highway Authority, and the technology company Arrivo are partnering on a feasibility study and an Arrivo test site near E-470. Arrivo plans to start the first commercial route in Denver in the next four to five years.

The Arrivo system is similar to hyperloop in that passengers and freight would travel through tubes using magnetic levitation to reach destinations more quickly. Arrivo differs from hyperloop by focusing on regional distances, instead of the longer interregional distances proposed by hyperloop technology companies. Additionally, Arrivo would not use low-pressure tubes and speeds would be closer to 200 mph rather than the 700 mph expected from hyperloop.

Arrivo is based in Los Angeles, California and is focused on building next-generation transportation solutions. By 2020, Arrivo plans to build a Technology Center in the Denver Region and add up to 200 employees. CDOT is partnering via its RoadX program, which focuses on using innovative technology to eliminate crashes, injuries, and delays in travel across Colorado.

Read more about the partnership in CDOT's press release.

Front Range Trail between Fort Collins and Loveland officially opens

Image credit: NFRMPO Staff
On Tuesday afternoon elected officials and staff from the City of Fort Collins, The City of Loveland, and Larimer County held a ribbon cutting for a section of the Front Range Trail connecting the two cities. The trail was completed through a partnership between the three governments to construct the first shared-use trail from Fort Collins to Loveland has been in the works since 2002. The project cost was $1.2M, with $800,000 in grant funding from state sources, $450,000 of which was awarded in the NFRMPO’s 2014 Call for Projects. A second connection between the two cities is expected to be completed by fall 2018 along the Long View Corridor, providing a similar route north-south route. Both projects are designated as Regional Non-Motorized Corridors in the NFRMPO's 2013 Regional Bicycle Plan and 2016 Non-Motorized Plan.

Read more from the Coloradoan.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

US34 Canyon Open to all Traffic Thanksgiving Weekend

Image Credit: CDOT

US34 will temporarily re-open between Loveland and County Road 43 to grant access to and from Estes Park over Thanksgiving weekend. The highway will be open to all motorists from 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 22 until 8 p.m. Sunday, November 26. However, because the highway will remain as one lane for the temporary opening, significant delays are expected and drivers are encouraged to use US36 and SH66.

US34 will also temporarily open from December 23 to January 2 and is scheduled to permanently re-open just before Memorial Day 2018.

For more information, read the full article on the Colorado Department of Transportation website.

Public Meeting on 11/15 for US 34 PEL Study

Join us this Wednesday, November 15, at a public meeting in Loveland to get updates and provide input for improvements along the US 34 corridor. The US 34 Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study is developing a plan of action to increase safety, improve mobility, and reduce congestion. The public meeting runs from 4-7 p.m. with presentations at 4:30 and 6 p.m.

Learn more at us34pel.codot.us.