Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Adopting Adaptive Technology: How Fort Collins is Solving Traffic Woes


Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Have you ever approached a red light only to notice there aren't even any cars trying to cross? Most intersections use pre-set signal timing, which means the lights change a set intervals, even if there are no cars at the intersection. For heavily trafficked areas, this may work just fine, but for corridors with inconsistent traffic flow, adaptive signals may be a better option. Adaptive signals sense and responds to traffic and can keep a heavy-flow corridor green for longer or allow for cross traffic to move through before it builds up.

Fort Collins already uses these adaptive signal controls at 10 intersections along Harmony and plans to install them across 30 more intersections. The next wave of adaptive controls will be implemented along corridors with variable traffic, since heavily-trafficked corridors don't receive as much benefit from these upgraded signals.

For more information on this project, check out Jacy Marmaduke's article in the Coloradoan.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Simplified Safe Routes to School Application is Now Live

Image credit: Flickr
Applying for funding through the Colorado Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is easier this year than ever before with a new, streamlined, online application. The application for CDOT's statewide, competitive SRTS program is open until Thursday, November 1 at 4:00pm. Besides being moved online, the application is for two years worth of funding, meaning the next call for applications will not be until fall of 2020.

Applicants can apply for a portion of the $5M in available SRTS funding for projects and programs that enable and encourage children to walk or bike to and from school. $4M is available for infrastructure projects and $1M is available for education projects. Eligible entities include schools, school districts, cities, towns, and counties.

Learn how to apply here.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

CDOT announces opening of U.S. 85 lane between Eaton, Ault


US 85 Project Work Area. Image credit: CDOT

Great news for drivers along US 85 between Eaton and Ault. On Saturday, September 8, CDOT switched traffic to the final configuration on the southbound lanes of US 85. The northbound lanes will be fully open on Thursday, September 13. The full project should be completed by the end of October, but speed restrictions will continue until then. Last minute work includes seeding, concrete repairs, and coordinating with the railroad.

More information about the project is available at https://www.codot.gov/projects/us-85-eaton-to-ault.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Gov. Hickenlooper Leads Groundbreaking for I-25 North Express Lanes

Image Credit: CDOT

Gov. John Hickenlooper led a groundbreaking ceremony for the I-25 North Express Lanes: Johnstown to Fort Collins project. The goal of the project is to improve travel reliability and increase transportation safety in northern Colorado by adding two express lanes, one in each direction. The project will replace four aging bridges and includes bus, trail, pedestrian, and bicycle improvements.

Gov. Hickenlooper said it best: "This project is a great example of local jurisdictions partnering with the state and federal agencies to ensure better mobility options are available faster to our northern drivers and residents."

For more information visit the CDOT newsroom.

CDOT's comical signs have a serious message

Image Credit: 9news
Perhaps you've seen the work of CDOT communications manager Sam Cole, who uses creative slogans to bring awareness to safety issues. Digital message boards, also known as Variable Message Signs (VMS), are located around the state to provide information to motorists. These signs can be used to encourage seat belt use, promote work zone safety, and discourage distracted driving. The inventive messages are developed by CDOT staff or submitted by the public.

By using a creative approach, motorists are more likely to pay attention. Messages that have been displayed include:
  • "Get your head out of your apps"
  • "Buckle up buttercup"
  • "Crashes are no accident"
Safety message suggestions from the public are encouraged. Read the 9news.com article to learn how to submit your idea.

I-25 Expansion in Northern Colorado: What to Know

I-25 North Express Lanes project groundbreaking event, Monday, September 10. Image credit: CDOT

Elected leaders from across Northern Colorado joined Governor John Hickenlooper in a ceremonial groundbreaking event on Monday, September 10, kicking off construction to add an Express Lane to I-25 in each direction between Johnstown and Fort Collins. The project aims to relieve congestion and improve safety along the only Interstate Highway in the North Front Range region. Here is what you should know:

Where will construction begin?

Construction on Crossroads Boulevard is wrapping up, but crews will continue working in the area and as far north as Kechter Road near CO 392. The Frontage Road will be permanently closed at Larimer County Road 30 (LCR 30). Construction in this area will include setting and removing barriers, widening I-25 to add Express Lanes, grade preparation, temporary asphalt paving, and restriping.

Will there be closures?

According to CDOT, some nighttime lane closures will be necessary for setting and removing barriers, temporary asphalt paving, grade preparation, and restriping.

When will the project be complete?

Construction is scheduled to be complete, with tolling underway, in early 2022.

How much does this project cost?

Total project cost is upwards of $300M. Local partners are contributing a significant amount of money to complete the expansion more than a decade ahead of schedule. Contributions from local partners include:  
  •          Berthoud = $250,000
  •          Centerra Metropolitan District = $6M
  •          Fort Collins = $18.75M
  •          Johnstown = $7M
  •          Larimer County = $11M
  •          Loveland = $8M
  •          Timnath = $500,000
  •          Weld County = $3M
  •          Windsor $1M
These contributions helped secure $15M in federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant funds. The remainder of the project will be funded through other state and federal funds, as well as financing through CDOT's High Performance Transportation Enterprise by borrowing money against the revenue to be generated once the Express Lanes are opened.

What about other multimodal improvements?

The project will include construction of a long-awaited trail connection under I-25 for the Poudre River Trail. A similar connection will be made at the Big Thompson River bridge in Loveland to accommodate the City’s future Big Thompson River Corridor Trail, extending east to Johnstown. Bicycle and pedestrian facilities will also be improved as part of the Prospect Road bridge replacement. Work at Kendall Parkway will include pedestrian and bicyclist improvements as well as a slip ramp and new Park-n-Ride to improve bus service along I-25, reducing Bustang trip times by 15 minutes in each direction.

Read more about the groundbreaking and overall project from the Loveland Reporter-Herald or the CDOT project page.

Monday, September 10, 2018

AARP grant to support Larimer County @RideBustang travel training, October 4



AARP, BATS, CDOT, COLT, the NFRMPO, PAFC, RTD, and Transfort are teaming up to provide a Bustang Travel Training for adults 50 years and over. On October 4, travel trainers will provide training on the Transfort, COLT, and BATS routes to the Bustang stops at the Harmony Transfer Center and US34 Park-n-Ride. At these stops, staff from Bustang will do a travel training on how to ride the bus to Denver Union Station, where an RTD travel trainer will meet the group. Participants will have time to explore downtown Denver before the group heads back to Fort Collins and Loveland. About 40 people will be able to join this training, but additional trainings will be held in the future based on demand.

A Google form is available to sign up:https://goo.gl/forms/YDLg5KuhoKn0l9163

Questions can be sent to Jim Becker at Partnership for Age-Friendly Communities at info@pafclarimer.org.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

I-25 North Express Lanes construction to begin Sept. 9

Image Credit: CDOT
Sunday evening marks the beginning of construction on I-25 for the Johnstown to Fort Collins Express Lanes project. Starting at 9 p.m. on Sunday, September 9, northbound I-25 traffic will be shifted to begin temporary road widening between Crossroads Boulevard and CO 392 along I-25.

Within this area, construction will occur in three general phases:
  1. Northbound traffic will be shifted west to construct two northbound outside lanes and the shoulder.
  2. Northbound traffic will be shifted east so the Express Lanes can be constructed in the center median.
  3. Southbound traffic will be shifted east to construct southbound outside lanes and shoulder. 
Some nighttime lane closures will occur, and work in this area is expected to extend through 2019. Along this segment, the project will add an Express Lane in each direction of I-25, relocate utilities, and construct an additional retaining wall under CO 392.

Across the corridor, the Express Lanes project will increase capacity, replace four aging bridges and widen four additional bridges, provide multimodal access to regional transit, and create new pedestrian and bicycle access under I-25 at Kendall Parkway. For more information on the project, view the CDOT press release.
Image Credit: RAQC
Headed into 2019 budget season and want to know what kind of grant funding is available to help reach your air quality goals? The Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) is still providing grant funding for the purchase of low emission, commercial-grade, lawn and garden equipment!

Grant funding covers:

  • Up to 50% of the purchase of battery electric handheld equipment, batteries, and chargers.
  • $2,000 towards the purchase of a new battery-powered commercial grade lawn mower.
  • $1,000 towards the purchase of a new propane powered commercial grade lawn mower.
  • $500 towards certified commercial propane conversion kit installation
Applicants are encouraged to seek additional rebates for propane equipment from the Propane Education & Research Council's Propane Mower Incentive Program.

Funding expires the end of 2018, but the online application will be open until funding is expended. Funding is available on a first-come, first served basis with a minimum award of $1,000 and a maximum award of $15,000 per entity. 

For more information on this program and to apply, please visit: www.mowdownpollution.org/commercial

Friday, August 31, 2018

I-25 North express lanes construction begins next week

Credit: Wikimedia
Construction on the North I-25 Express Lanes project begins Tuesday, September 4 at 7 a.m. with the full closure of of East Frontage Road between SH392 and Crossroads Boulevard. As part of the project, the Frontage Road will be permanently closed and removed at Larimer County Road (LCR) 30. Properties off the East Frontage Road can be accessed from the east on LCR 5/Fairgrounds Avenue.

Work on mainline I-25 starts Sunday, September 9 at 9 p.m. between Crossroads Boulevard and Kechter Road, near SH392. Most of the construction in this area will be done off the road, but some nighttime lane closures will be necessary for setting barriers, grade preparation and temporary asphalt paving, and restriping I-25 for traffic shifts. Work will begin with northbound lanes, followed by southbound lanes. On this portion of I-25, the project will add express lanes, relocate utilities, build a retaining wall under SH392, and construct three water-quality ponds and drainage facilities.

For more information on the project, see the article in the Coloradoan and the CDOT project page.