CDOT targets traffic in Craig

Christina M. Currie

The Craig Police Department has identified 68 intersections that don’t have signs. There are ongoing complaints about speeding, and some say that some roads narrow for no good reason.

Now, city officials might get some expert direction on how to handle those issues.

Craig is one of seven Colorado cities the Depar-tment of Transportation has chosen to conduct a traffic safety engineering study. The study is free for cities with populations of less than 20,000.

The study typically consists of an examination of signs, pavement markings, parking issues, traffic flow, school zones, speed zones and other areas local officials may be concerned about.

CDOT is concerned about safety.

“That’s what it’s really about, we’re trying to reduce crashes in your town,” said Randy Reyes, who administers the 402 Road Safety Program. “Really, we’re into saving lives and reducing injuries.”

His program will be able to provide the city with as much as $3,000 to purchase the signs the study indicates are needed.

“It’s our highway, and we should be able to help you any way we can,” he said.

Reyes was in Craig on Wed-nesday with three Kimley-Horn traffic engineers to talk to police Chief Walt Vanatta and Craig City Councilman Byron Willems about the project and areas of concern.

Vanatta is considered the city’s “traffic engineer.”

“This is your study, we’re here to provide you with information and data,” said Curtis Rowe, the Kimley-Horn traffic engineer who’s heading up the project.

He already has made extensive notes about traffic issues — mainly signage — and plans to begin taking traffic counts on Victory Way and Industrial Avenue next week.

Vanatta asked for the traffic counts, which can be used on an access control study the city is working on for U.S. Highway 40 between Finley Lane and Green Street. The amount of exits in the stretch has increased the number of accidents, and officials are considering what options to take.

Vanatta thinks turning Industrial Avenue into a through street may have reduced the amount of traffic on Victory Way, making the need for changes less critical.

“I’d like to see if it still warrants having a median in there or if Industrial Avenue has taken enough traffic that we can get away with something else,” Vanatta said.

The access control study has been on hold for about six months as officials attempt to communicate with absentee owners.

CDOT’s traffic engineering study will take substantially less time.

Rowe expects to have it done by the end of September.

“CDOT will identify the problems and will offer several alternatives for mitigation,” Reyes said. “That report could establish liability for the city and the traffic engineer personally. You’ll want to address all the traffic issues as best as you can.”

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210 or by e-mail at

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