As part of the I-7o Bridge Project, MODOT is reconfiguring the West Blvd. entrances and exits. Their goal is to ease traffic flow, particularly at the intersection south of I-70. (You probably know this intersection as the one with the pothole the size of a small car.)
Our goal when working with MODOT was to enhance pedestrian and bike safety at these intersections. It’s nearly impossible to cross the Business Loop on the west end and even though Cosmo Park is very close, it’s currently far too dangerous for kids who live just south of the Business Loop to safely walk or bike under I-70.
The plan is to relocate the roundabout north of the interstate and add a second roundabout on the south. The city has agreed to landscape both roundabouts, providing an attractive gateway onto The Loop.
The north roundabout will be relocated because the bridge itself will be relocated. There are also a couple of new additions to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists. You’ll notice that a multi-use path will be added so that pedestrians and cyclists can cross under I-70 without having to travel through the traffic circle. This is an advantage for drivers as well. Also notice the marked crosswalks added on the west and north sides. This will provide a safe way to enter or exit the multi-use path.
The traffic circle on the south is new and designed to clean up a confusing and congested intersection—and one that doesn’t have a proper shoulder, let alone sidewalks.
Again, a multi-use path is created to separate pedestrians and cyclists from vehicles and two marked crosswalks have been added. The crosswalk to the east of the roundabout is especially key—it’s a way for people south of the Business Loop to cross the street to the grocery stores without having to jaywalk or travel all the way down to Parkade for a light.
A lot of questions have arisen about two-lane roundabouts but if you look at both plans you’ll see that the added lane is a way for vehicles to avoid the entire roundabout if they are only traveling to the next stop. For more details and a closer look at the plans, visit MODOT’s I-70 Bridge Project website. There you can get a closer look at the plans, learn about traffic impacts, and sign up for their weekly email outlining closures.
These are huge changes to the two intersections and diagrams like these can certainly make your head spin! However, these upgrades should make it easier for drivers, safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and provide an attractive landscaped gateway onto The Loop.