In 2014, the LiveWell Huerfano County Bike and Pedestrian Advocacy Team presented findings/recommendations to CDOT, the City of Walsenburg, and Huerfano County regarding potential improvements within the City of Walsenburg that would support increased bicycle and pedestrian activity within the city. Specific challenges for pedestrians and bicycles crossing I-25C (Main Street/Walsen Avenue) and US 160 (7th Street), as well as continuity of routes along these two corridors were identified. Spurred on by the presentation, CDOT was able to obtain funding in 2015 for a pedestrian/bicycle study and an initial construction project.
Stolfus helped CDOT partner with the City, County and LiveWell to develop, evaluate and prioritize pedestrian and bicycle improvements along the State Highway routes in the city. Safe crossing locations for access to community amenities, improved sidewalk connections and ADA accessibility along the highway and at existing pinch points, improved routes to schools, and opportunities for on-street bicycle lanes were evaluated as part of the study. Opportunities to reassign space within existing right-of-way to accommodate and balance all transportation modes were pursued where feasible.
In January, 2016 the project team engaged the local community in the process. Close to fifty people attended a public meeting held to present project goals, benefits, and alternatives and seek public input. Overall, the community feedback was positive, especially related to improved crossings and sidewalk connections. With local feedback in hand, alternatives were evaluated and prioritized based on a set of criteria established at the beginning of the project. CDOT has released a new task order to Stolfus to design improvements at up to three locations in the study, including the following:
- Improved crossings with rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFB’s) at the library and City Park pool
- Sidewalk connectivity between the library and the high school on Pine Street. Adding a shared use path across an existing box culvert in this segment will provide safe facilities for pedestrians and cyclists who currently are forced to share vehicular lanes in order to cross the structure.
Construction is currently planned for Summer 2017.