Ken Gold: Pine Grove Road is bad location for hotel
I strongly oppose the approval of the Residence Inn project previously approved by Steamboat Springs City Council to be located at Pine Grove Road and Rollingstone Drive, and I urge the City Council to reconsider their decision to approve this project or, at the very least, table their decision until sufficient time has been allocated for the community at large to render their opinions to City Council regarding this proposed 110-unit project and all of its impacts on our community.
We are residents of Barn Village, so we are very aware already of how much traffic already crowds Pine Grove Road primarily to access City Market, Walmart and the shops in Central Park Plaza as well as on the way to the Yampa Valley Medical Center.
Everyone in town regardless of where you live has had to wait at the turning lane on Highway 40 to turn onto Pine Grove Road at most times during the day and in particular at high traffic times, and the same holds true for people traveling from City Market on Pine Grove Road to turn back onto Highway 40 going downtown. Sometimes already, those lines of cars back up for long distances going both ways, and it is not uncommon to wait for two or more light changes before you can make a turn.
Taking that into consideration and anticipating the additional traffic generated by a 110-room hotel and all the trips and cars going to and from that hotel will create a nightmare traffic situation on Pine Grove Road and potentially Anglers Drive, which no normal mitigation effort, extra turning lane, roundabouts or other solutions will be able correct. This is simply a bad location for a building and hotel of this size.
In addition, while this is a private property, it is one of relatively few, still pristine riparian areas within the city that is inhabited by wildlife and beautiful old growth trees and to see this area become another large parking lot and cement edifice seems unfortunate. A project like Anglers Retreat that has demonstrated such great environmental sensitivity and fits in so well with the natural environment around Fish Creek would be so much more appropriate.
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