FACT CHECK: What traffic impacts are anticipated from the West Steamboat annexation?
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Anticipated traffic volume and needed road improvements were hashed out at a Steamboat Springs City Council work session Sept. 19, 2017, when the West Steamboat Neighborhoods annexation agreement was being negotiated. To fund these improvements, the annexation agreement calls for a $292,000 initial contribution from the developers, then additional contributions as homes are built. These funds would land in a newly established transportation firming fund.
Early development of the neighborhood likely would see a different traffic pattern than full build-out, as a new road is required by the annexation agreement when 30 homes break ground.
The annexation agreement states, prior to the 31st building permit being issued, West Steamboat Neighborhoods will build a secondary road to access the subdivision, which is a planned extension of the currently incomplete Gloria Gossard Parkway. Brynn Grey and Overlook Partners are negotiating an access easement for this road, but that agreement hadn’t been finalized as of the April 9 City Council meeting.
Traffic volumes on road segments and intersections were analyzed looking 20 years out:
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- In 2037, 18,650 vehicles are expected to travel daily on U.S. Highway 40 from the intersection of the neighborhood’s new Slate Creek Road to Downhill Drive, with 1,665 — 8.9% — of those vehicles coming from West Steamboat Neighborhoods. This volume will require widening U.S. 40 to four lanes.
- From the U.S. 40 intersection with Elk River Road to 13th Street, 34,700 daily vehicles are forecast, with 2,165 of those — 6.2% — coming from West Steamboat Neighborhoods.
- On Downhill Drive from U.S. 40 to Elk River Road, 6,500 daily vehicles are forecast, with 1,000 of those — 15.4% — coming from West Steamboat Neighborhoods.
City staff have prioritized intersection and road improvements that should occur if the neighborhoods are built out, according to a presentation at the Sept. 19, 2017, work session:
- U.S. 40 from Elk River Road to Dream Island Plaza (Segment C below)
- U.S. 40 and Downhill Drive intersection (Intersection 1 below)
- Elk River Road and Downhill Drive intersection (Intersection 3 below)
- Downhill Drive from U.S. 40 to Elk River Road (Segment F below)
- Elk River Road from Downhill Drive to U.S. 40 (Segment E below)
- U.S. 40 from Downhill Drive to Elk River Road (Segment B below)
- U.S. 40 from Dream Island Plaza to 13th Street (Segment D below)
- U.S. 40 from the new Slate Creek Road to Downhill Drive (Segments A.2 and A.3 below)
Payments to transportation fund
According to the annexation agreement, before the first Brynn Grey home breaks ground, the company will pay $292,000 to the transportation firming fund. After that, every homebuyer that isn’t under a workforce deed restriction will pay an additional contribution into the fund.
That buyer’s contribution is initially $11,000 per home and $8,400 per secondary unit, but that amount will be adjusted annually for inflation based on the Colorado Department of Transportation’s construction cost index.
According to the annexation agreement, Brynn Grey will pay for the design and construction of all roads in the property, including the Slate Creek Road, which is planned to link the neighborhood to U.S. 40.
Until about 200 homes break ground, Brynn Grey also will pay for snow removal in the subdivision. Before the building permit for the 199th unit is issued, Brynn Grey will pay the city $610,000 to cover the costs of purchasing additional city snow removal equipment. At that time, the city will take over snowplowing.
This story is part of the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s ongoing Fact Check series, which is intended to answer readers’ questions about the proposed West Steamboat Neighborhoods annexation. This series will be published with other annexation coverage at SteamboatPilot.com/news/annexation. If you have a question you’d like to see answered in Fact Check, email reporter Eleanor Hasenbeck at ehasenbeck@SteamboatPilot.com.
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