Steamboat Springs seeks state grant for various downtown projects
Steamboat Springs City Council members voted Tuesday to give city staff the green light to apply for a $2 million grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The city will decide what, specifically, to spend the money on when and if their request is granted, but they unveiled a list of eight projects that would qualify.
• Bike lanes on Fifth Street from Yampa Street to Lincoln Avenue.
The city would like to formalizes bike lanes between the Yampa River Core Trail and Lincoln Avenue through creation of a formal right-turn lane from Fifth Street onto Lincoln Avenue. This work is a requirement of the Riverview Development Project, and a CDOT access permit has already been issued for the project. If the city chooses to move forward, Riverview would contribute $100,000 to the project as grant match dollars. If the grant is not awarded, the requirement will revert to the developer without the city’s help or funding. If the city chooses to move forward with this project, they will see a loss of four parking spaces.
• Sidewalk completion on 11th Street between Yampa Street and Lincoln Avenue
The city would like to install a missing sidewalk in front of the Old Pilot Building, including a wheelchair-accessible ramp.
• Lighting on Yampa River Core Trail
The city would like to install pedestrian scale lighting from the parking lot at Howelsen Hill Ski Area through the tunnel and over the bridge to Yampa Street. This project is currently partially funded by the city’s Capitol Improvement Projects fund. If council receives state money and chooses to use it on this project, the project would be completed either in the fall or in 2022.
• Bike lanes on Fifth Street from Lincoln Avenue to Oak Street
The city has proposed formalizing bike lanes from Lincoln Avenue to Oak Street and installing streetscape improvements along the historic Routt County Courthouse sidewalk frontage. This project would change parking from diagonal to parallel, resulting in a loss of approximately 20 spaces. City staff discussed the project with the Routt County Board of Commissioners in 2019, but if council chooses to move forward on it, council members agreed to discuss it with the county and local businesses before beginning construction.
• Sidewalk completion on Sixth Street
City staff proposed completing sidewalk improvements between Lincoln Avenue and Oak Street. Improvements would include a wheelchair-accessible ramp.
• Sidewalk replacement/streetscape improvements on Eighth Street from Yampa Street to Lincoln Avenue.
If approved, the project would install trees and street lights along sidewalk segments in various states of disrepair. Staff would work with building owners to include improved wheelchair access to doorways.
• Streetscape improvements on Ninth Street
The city would like to install trees and street lights along sidewalk segments on Ninth Street. Staff would also install wheelchair ramps where necessary.
• Sidewalk completion on Fourth Street from Lincoln Avenue to Oak Street.
City staff have proposed installing sidewalks in the area where they do not already exist.
In discussing the project list, several council members expressed concerns over losing 20 parking spots if they go forward with the fourth option.
“Twenty spots in the grand scheme of things is not a lot; however, I do think we need to keep in mind that we are losing parking pretty rapidly downtown,” council member Lisel Petis said. “This isn’t necessarily a full conversation we have to have right now, but I do think it’s something that we have to keep in the forefront of our minds that we’re going to be losing parking.”
Jon Snyder, Steamboat public works director, said he does not expect to receive the full $2 million, and if City Council chooses to move forward on more bike lanes, the community’s support for expanded bike access may outweigh disappointment in a loss of parking spots.
“The value of the trade-off is entirely in the eye of the beholder,” Snyder said in an interview. “We’ll see how much money we get and stretch it as far as we can.”
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
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