On December 10th and 11th, 2014, the project team hosted four small group meetings to discuss project-specific topics. Comment forms distributed at the October 8th 2014 Open Houses provided the public with the opportunity to sign up for one or more of the small groups. The project website (www.downtownestesloop.com) also provided the opportunity for the public to sign up for the small groups.
The four meetings were held at the Estes Park Museum. Total attendance was as follows (five persons attended all four meetings):
- December 10th, Environmental/History, 18 attendees
- December 10th, Residential/Neighborhoods, 28 attendees
- December 11th, Economic/Business, 20 attendees
- December 11th, Multi-Modal Transportation, 13 attendees
The purpose of the meetings was to discuss the project process and alternatives under consideration, and to gather feedback on the specific topics listed above. Each of the four topic meetings began with a presentation by the project team. The presentation included an overview of the project, the Environmental Assessment (EA process), and methodology for evaluating design alternatives. Each presentation was followed by breakout groups (tables) where participants and team members discussed detailed information related to the topic at hand. Participants were encouraged to listen, contribute, and engage in meaningful dialogue in their breakout groups. Each breakout group shared their topic discussions with the larger group.
The following is a summary of feedback received at the meetings:
Downtown Transportation/Traffic Concerns:
- Need an overall comprehensive vision for transportation in the Town
- Need additional signage and parking
- Signage entering Town needed; encourage use of Wonderview
- Intelligent transportation signs – direct traffic based on real time flow information
- Need increased transit service
- Need parking management and additional parking
- Concerns with a Pedestrian Mall concept and potential bypass of businesses on Elkhorn
- Preference for the barnes dance (prior “all-walk” phase at Elkhorn/Moraine)
- Need a point of origin study up to Mall Rd. and Fish Creek
Project-Specific Transportation concerns:
- Don’t change only for tourism
- Focus on residents, find balance
- Need to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians on study area streets
- Downtown Estes Loop Project
- Small Group Meeting Summary • Keep area walkable
- Acquisition of property concerns- limited space to relocate
- Residents that remain- how is property affected?
- If sales decrease (if an alternative implemented), how will owners get compensated?
- Shortening Elkhorn to 2 lanes would give more room to pedestrians
- Moraine/Riverside intersection needs improvement
- Circulation concerns with the 1-way; impacts to revenues; congestion is positive
- 2-way traffic on Moraine preferred
- Riverside to/from park is best alternative
- Issues with pedestrians crossing 4 lanes
- Bikes- where are they traveling? Do they need Elkhorn & Moraine?
- Bikes need access into and within downtown
- Wonderview needs bike lane
- Pedestrian underpasses where possible
- Consider a shuttle into RMNP
- Delivery truck issue (parking) along Elkhorn
Transportation Alternatives along Riverside:
- Potential increase in truck traffic if becomes a state highway
- Protect sensitive resources including Riverwalk (including Riverwalk crossings), trees, wildlife, floodplain and parks
- Protect older homes – “historic cottages”, quaint neighborhoods
- Noise, traffic, light pollution concerns
- Concerns with impacts to businesses
- Back-up of traffic to view wildlife under a one-way configuration
- Construction impact concerns
- Concern with 4-lane (requires a large footprint, impacts to Riverside)
- 2-way Riverside may lead to drivers bypassing downtown
The small group meetings provided invaluable insight to the project team on the resources of concern, the attendee’s perspectives on the project and transportation solutions needed in the community. The feedback received will be incorporated into the analysis phase of the project, currently underway, as well as into the development of project alternatives. A community-wide public meeting will be scheduled for February 2015 to continue the project dialogue and present the alternatives screening process and initial results.
Additional small group meetings will be scheduled once the Draft Environmental Assessment is released (anticipated Summer 2015) to discuss topics in further detail.
To view the powerpoint presentation given at the small group meetings please click here