Possibilities emerging for revamp of Bowles and Federal

Open house yields diverse opinions for upgrade approved by voters

Posted 7/2/18

The City of Littleton is seeking more citizen input on how to upgrade the intersection of West Bowles Avenue and South Federal Boulevard, one of the projects earmarked by last fall’s TABOR vote …

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Possibilities emerging for revamp of Bowles and Federal

Open house yields diverse opinions for upgrade approved by voters

Posted

The City of Littleton is seeking more citizen input on how to upgrade the intersection of West Bowles Avenue and South Federal Boulevard, one of the projects earmarked by last fall’s TABOR vote that let the city keep excess revenue for road improvements.

The intersection has seen more than 100 accidents — though none fatal — in the past five years, according to city data, and handles 30,000 cars a day on Bowles and 16,000 a day on Federal. Voters approved a measure in 2017 that allocated $500,000 in improvements for the intersection.

The half-million dollars won’t cover every desired improvement, said Keith Reester, the city’s public works director.

“To do a complete overhaul would be a couple million,” Reester said. “This money gets us a good start toward that. Anything we do now is setting the stage for future projects. Our first priority as always is things that improve safety.”

An open house held by city staff at the Littleton Golf and Tennis Club on June 15 drew dozens of attendees, according to notes prepared by Public Works staff. Opinions on intersection improvements varied widely, staff reported, with some attendees saying there’s nothing wrong with the current intersection. Others saw the intersection as overcongested, lacking good sight lines and suffering poor stoplight timing.

Attendees cited numerous concerns with the intersection, including distracted drivers, red light running, speeding, drivers not paying attention to pedestrians and bicyclists, and the potential impacts of future population increases.

The most popular suggestions for improving the intersection were an overpass for pedestrians and bikes, a right-turn acceleration lane for southbound to westbound traffic, improved signal timing, protected-turn phases of signal timing, a pedestrian-only signal phase, and increased police enforcement of speeding and texting while driving.

The cost of a pedestrian overpass would likely run into the millions of dollars, Reester said.

“That’s not really on the table right now,” Reester said. “More likely, this money will allow us to do some lane realignments, modify the medians, and add signage related to pedestrian and bike visibility.”

Following the open house, city staff will begin developing and analyzing various possible improvements and preparing a narrowed-down list of possibilities for a future open house. The intention is to have a project ready for bidding by fall of this year, according to city documents.

Mayor Debbie Brinkman said she wants to get the show on the road.

“I’ve always been frustrated by how slow these things go,” Brinkman said. “I’d like to see things go at a faster pace, but it is government. But anytime we can improve safety and connectivity, that’s an overall benefit to the community.”

Though the money won’t fix every problem at the intersection, it’s a step in the right direction, said City Manager Mark Relph.

“The intent is to address concerns we’ve been hearing for the last several years,” Relph said.

The city is seeking further input on the intersection through an online survey, which can be found by searching for “Bowles/Federal” at littletongov.org.

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