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The need for a traffic signal is based on an engineering evaluation that includes traffic volume thresholds outlined in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Installing a traffic signal before an engineering recommendation can have unintended consequences including increased crashes or increased vehicle delays.
Updated Oct. 27, 2022
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The existing connection between the end of Sapphire Pointe Blvd and Mesa Drive is meant for emergency access only. Converting that to a public roadway connection would add additional traffic on Mesa Drive, which the roadway was not designed to carry. Given that Mesa Drive is a two-lane rural roadway with residential driveways on it, this is not an ideal route for regional traffic to/from Interstate 25.
There is a planned roadway that would connect Crowfoot Valley Road to Hess Road through the Canyons Development in the City of Castle Pines. This development is located to the north and west of Crowfoot Valley Road. That roadway is slated to be constructed by the developer of that property but the timing of the full connection from Crowfoot Valley Road to Hess Road is currently unknown.
The widening has been part of the Town’s Transportation Master Plan to support projected growth. Crowfoot Valley Road is planned to be widened to a four-lane cross-section from Founders Parkway to the Town limit just north of Sapphire Pointe Boulevard. This widening project is currently part of the Town’s 5-year Capital Improvement Program plan and is slated to occur in 2024.
The widening of Crowfoot will include bike lines along the full length of the project. In addition to that, there is planned to be a regional trail connection running from southeast to northwest through the area that will cross Crowfoot Valley Road somewhere between Diamond Ridge and Sapphire Pointe.
The Town’s Master Plan traffic forecasts use the Denver Regional Council of Governments regional forecasting model in the projection of traffic. This traffic forecasting model takes planned developments into account that have been provided to DRCOG by each local agency. Given that, the majority, if not all of the planned development along Crowfoot Valley Road has been taken into account in the Town’s Master Plan. In addition to this, the Town was very conservative in the land use assumptions within the Town’s limit in the Master Plan study and assumed full build-out of the Town by 2040. Based on both of these factors, the 37,000 vehicles per day is expected to be a good estimate for future traffic on Crowfoot Valley Road.
Posted speed limits on a given roadway are set based on engineering studies and/or roadway design criteria. A speed study was done on Crowfoot Valley Road a few years ago. The speed limit within Town limits was reduced to 40 mph in the summer of 2021. The currently posted speeds on the roadway today are supported by the data collected during that speed study. As such, the speed limits will not change.
The Town’s design criteria will be used for the widening project. The lighting for the roadway will be based on what is needed for a four-lane arterial. The light fixtures are designed to minimize the unwanted scattering of light but instead, focus the light where it is needed on the roadway. There are not currently plans identified to specifically address noise levels, as there are currently more project needs identified than there are projected funds to implement them. Due to the significant costs associated with sound mitigation, measures like these would further increase the gap between wants and needs versus projected funds to complete the project. As such, other projects would need to be delayed should sound mitigation measures be included.
The Colorado Department of Transportation is responsible for the timing of the traffic signals on Founders Parkway. The red arrow was put in several years ago due to a higher-than-expected number of T-bone type collisions. In addition, it is not uncommon for a double left turn movement to have red arrows for the left turn during all times of the day. CDOT is currently running the signal so it is more responsive (i.e., shorter wait times) during lower volume times. The Town’s Traffic Engineering staff will continue to closely coordinate with CDOT on the operation of the signals along the corridor.
Initial design layouts for a roundabout at Sapphire Pointe Boulevard show that minimal additional right-of-way would be needed. However, there is space around the intersection to allow for the acquisition of right-of-way if needed. With regard to utilities, these would be identified during the design and, if needed, relocations coordinated with the given utility provider.
Feedback received from prior public outreach indicated roundabouts were not wanted. A signal will be added to the intersection of Sapphire Pointe and Crowfoot Valley Road.
Developments within the Town do pay impact fees per residential unit or commercial square foot constructed. These fees are collected at the time of building permit and are used for the construction of roadway widening projects. Developments outside of the Town do not contribute funds to the Town but typically have development agreements with the agency where they are located (i.e., Douglas County).
The Town and Douglas County have partnered on this project with budgeting for construction for these improvements to expand Crowfoot to four lanes. The current funding available for the project is about $4.2 million. These funds are expected to be sufficient to complete the needed improvements for the corridor. A timeframe for construction on this stretch of road is expected to be complete by Spring 2024.