Ability to get around downtown in spotlight

Castle Rock evaluating downtown transportation issues in latest study

Posted 6/8/18

Castle Rock updated its Transportation Master Plan in 2017 and reviewed downtown parking procedures through a Downtown Parking Study, but this month the town embarked on another transportation …

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Ability to get around downtown in spotlight

Castle Rock evaluating downtown transportation issues in latest study

Posted

Castle Rock updated its Transportation Master Plan in 2017 and reviewed downtown parking procedures through a Downtown Parking Study, but this month the town embarked on another transportation mission — a Downtown Mobility Study.

The latest report will look at the downtown core as a unique area within Castle Rock, one with different transportation needs than the remainder of town.

Town staff and their consultants, Kimley Horn and Associates, have already talked to stakeholders such as the Colorado Department of Transportation, Douglas County, and the town fire and police departments. On June 6 they held the first public meeting in the study, attended by roughly a dozen residents.

“Tonight, what we really want to understand are your core values,” said Troy Russ, a transportation practice builder with Kimley Horn.

The goal of the Downtown Mobility Study will be to improve transportation in an area where widening streets or intersections is not compatible with the surrounding land use, Russ said. The study will also be about more than simply how to move cars.

“Downtown is a very unique setup where we can't go in and do our traditional transportation improvements,” said Tom Reiff, transportation planner with Castle Rock.

Aside from moving more cars, typically done through bigger roads or a more efficient system, the study will also look at how the town can draw on improving other modes of transportation.

Industry examples include bike lanes, HOV/HOT lanes or making areas more pedestrian-friendly. Another approach is to move fewer people fewer miles, by creating areas where residents can live, work and shop within walkable distances.

During the June 6 meeting, Russ led attendees through various exercises, including one asking them to identify trouble spots in the downtown. They came up with a lengthy list including inconsistent speed limits, congested interstate on-ramps, underutilized land use in the southern downtown area and difficult crosswalks.

The group also identified their top values for the area:

• A downtown with historic character, oldtown charm and a friendly feel.

• Ease of mobility and accessibility.

• Downtown entertainment options like dining and shopping.

• A community gathering place for events, provided through Festival Park.

• A walkable area with good access to trails.

Bruce Johnson, a Castlewood Ranch resident, attended the meeting because he is interested in making the downtown “more of a destination than a place to go through,” he said.

“We're downtown at least once a week,” he said. “Usually it's going out to eat, a festival, you know, shopping.”

Johnson envisions a downtown with better access for pedestrians and less through traffic, something he says might be more complicated once the mixed-use Riverwalk development is completed.

“There's obviously going to be a huge number of people coming and going from that facility,” he said.

Russ said the team would be taking all the June 6 group comments into account as the study progresses through the next phases. The goal is to complete the report, including potential solutions, by the end of 2018. The town is still gathering input on the study. Residents can go to CRgov.com/MoveAroundDT to submit feedback online.

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