City council looks at city transportation

The Craig City Council is looking 20 years into the future of transportation in the city.

The city council met with several city department heads Tuesday to discuss the 20-year master plan of transportation in a workshop before the city council meeting.

The modes of transportation addressed by the plan include vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.

The plan makes recommendations for future projects that would hopefully increase public safety and convenience, reduce traffic accidents and accommodate for population growth within the city, Craig City Manager Jim Ferree said.

The city council met to discuss the plan, which has not been finalized, and to provide feedback on what items they did not understand or items they felt should be added or eliminated from the plan.

The last master transportation plan was drafted in 1982 and most of the items included in that plan have been completed, Ferree said.

Currently, Stantec, a company from Denver, is compiling the transportation plan, which is expected to be completed in the next two months, Ferree said.

The plan is based on several tasks completed by Stantec to properly address the future needs of transportation in Craig.

The company considered past city actions addressing traffic, concerns from citizens, traffic studies and vehicle crash statistics.

It also provides the council with a look at the current transportation system in Craig including vehicle and pedestrian safety, existing road conditions, traffic flows and volumes, and parking within the city.

It makes several recommendations the council should consider in the future including adding parking in the downtown area, particularly during special events, discouraging trucks from traveling through downtown area, and the implementation of traffic calming measures in certain areas, such as roundabouts, traffic circles or speed bumps, among others.

The council recommended some items, such as the traffic calming measures, might be revised or taken out of the plan.

In the case of the traffic calming items, several council members thought the suggestion wouldn’t work well with current snow removal in the city.

Another suggestion presented was to construct more sidewalks in the city. The council agreed sidewalks are important to the safety of pedestrians, but that funding may not be available in the near future.

Council member Joe Herod said the master transportation plan as a whole could be limited by the amount of supplemental funding available to the city from grants and other areas.

“I don’t think any of them will get done right off the bat,” Herod said. “It’s all about money.”

But the current lack of grant money coming into the city shouldn’t stop the council from looking forward to a time when money might be available, he said.

“If you don’t have some sort of plan now, in 10 years from now, when we are all gone, whoever takes over needs to prepared to go forward with what has been planned,” he said. “Every so many years you get new people in city council and if they are not all on the same page … it just (becomes) a big mess.”

Council member Jennifer Riley said the future of the traffic plan is tied to the funding available, but smaller suggestions could be completed in the near future.

“It looked at what is working right now and what isn’t working right now,” she said. “Some of these things are easy to cure today, and some of them are easy to cure in five years, or ten years.

“But we have to know what we have and where we can go and what the costs associated with those are.”

Also at the meeting, the Craig City Council:

• Approved, 7-0, April bills totaling $477,44.92

• Approved, 7-0, minutes from the April 27 meeting.

• Approved, 7-0, a resolution to designate May as higher education month.

• Approved, 7-0, to award the purchase and installation of chemical controllers for the Craig swimming pool to Siemens for $10,575.

• Approved, 7-0, to purchase four 2010 Ford Expeditions with extended warranties from Craig Ford totaling $122,923.20.

• Approved, 7-0, to purchase two, Dodge one-ton cab and chassis and a half-ton pickup truck from Victory Motors totaling $61,638 and two, Ford three-fourth ton pickup trucks from Craig Ford totaling $41,040.

• Approved, 7-0, to purchase a finance file server from Dell for $9,189.24

• Reached general consensus to grant an access easement across the Craig ditch at the request of Bruce Timberg. The matter will go before the planning and zoning board.

• Heard an introduction of ordinance No. 1005 to adopt the 2010 edition of the Model Traffic Code for Colorado Municipalities with the exception of 1409(9) into the Craig municipal code from city attorney Kenny Wohl.

• Heard police department report for the month of April.

• Approved, 7-0, to go into executive session to address a personnel matter regarding a particular individual. No action was taken.

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