John Lanterman: Traffic impact study from proposed annexation is incomplete
Imagine an additional 3,331 vehicles traveling between the proposed West Steamboat annexation and the major employment centers east of downtown, including the hospital, the ski area and the major retail areas. That is the projected traffic impact of the 450 units from the annexation identified in the traffic study.
The traffic study does not include the potential for the annexation to have an additional 339 secondary units in the trip generation analysis. Adding the 339 secondary units to the total of 450 primary units, which can be built in the West Steamboat Neighborhoods development, increases the unit total 75%.
The current traffic through town is bad enough. Add the 3,331 vehicles per day identified in the study to the traffic potential generated from another 339 units — over 2,200 more vehicles per day not identified in the study — it’s clear, all that additional traffic won’t make things better. Before this annexation is allowed, we need the full story on traffic.
The other impact that is not adequately addressed is who pays for the traffic impacts? The Colorado Department of Transportation is often described as paying 80% of the projected $30 million in road cost improvements through grants. If you talk to CDOT, they will tell you they will not pay 80% of the road improvement costs. West Steamboat Neighborhoods is not the sole cause of the $30 million in costs, but they are a contributor.
We need answers to these funding concerns before the West Steamboat Neighborhoods annexation moves forward. Otherwise, the community ends up with the bill or more traffic congestion. I am not interested in subsidizing a private developer and the costs associated with this large annexation through increased property taxes or reduced city services to the community.
I am not against housing. I am not against growth. What I am opposed to is the traffic increases and its impacts that have not been fully described and properly addressed.
We need to vote “no” on this annexation until we get guarantees and answers.
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