Hello Park County,

I attended the CDOT call last week, as I am sure many of you did. Now that we have some more information about what exactly is planned, I would like to weigh in again.

Here is a link to the call for those that may not have attended:

First I would like to make one thing clear: CDOT does not care about the impact of this project to Park County residents. Their only concern is for the traffic on US-285 itself, as this is their job. They were quite clear on this point in the presentation. If we have issues or concerns regarding this project, it is up to us as a County to fight it. No amount of feedback on their website will change their core goal. So it is time to ask: is this project good for our County?

The project is broken into 2 parts. One is the removal of the light at US-285 and CR43a, and the other impacts the section of US-285 running through the town of Bailey. I will be addressing the first part (Section B) as this is the one that appears to have the most impact.

The light at CR43a

I am happy to see that the proposal creates a better turn lane and entry path for traffic turning southbound onto US-285 from Rosalie. Unfortunately, this is the only positive part of what I reviewed. I still have the following concerns about the new plan.

  • The traffic ‘studies’ to justify the light’s removal were all done during the winter. A winter study has absolutely no bearing on summer traffic. Thus, the entire study is flawed to the point of being un-usable.
  • All Northbound US-285 traffic will be required to use the CR72 exit to access CR43. This means trucks, 5th-wheels, and other large vehicles. Not only is Deer Creek Rd not suitable to this type of traffic, but I cannot see how a large vehicle is supposed to make a right onto CR43a to access the Loaf and Jug and other local businesses.
  • The light creates a traffic break for vehicles entering US285 from Rosalie and other community roads. Without the break, it will be next to impossible to turn left onto US285 from these important community access points.
  • The above traffic breaks (and removal of them) has the potential to affect roads all the way from Pine Junction to Glen Isle.
  • Ultimately, without improving the infrastructure surrounding US285, the proposed changes will have a resounding negative impact on our local businesses and communities.

So what say you Park County? Is this project good for us? Do you support it? Or do you have concerns? Commissioner Elsner has already made his view known: he supports the project. This is to be anticipated, as he is cozy with CDOT and seems to care more about his State positions than his obligation to the residents of Park County. But does that mean we should just lie down and accept this impact to our community?

I would love to hear from you on this. Please email me, msg me or call me and let me know what you think.

 

As always, trying to do what’s best for #AllofPark

-Richie Frangiosa