Frisco Town Council hears Main Street improvement ideas ahead of March vote |

Frisco Town Council hears Main Street improvement ideas ahead of March vote

Public comments submitted by Friday will be reviewed and incorporated into the final plan

Frisco’s Main Street is pictured at dusk in the summertime. The town is working on its Complete Streets Plan to redesign the downtown area.
Town of Frisco/Courtesy photo

The town of Frisco is in the middle of drafting and approving its Complete Streets Plan to give the downtown area an overhaul. The latest step of the process had town staff and a consultant team going over planned multimodal designs during a work session Tuesday, Feb. 8.

The plan started taking shape last summer with teams studying existing street conditions, including gathering data before and after the Frisco Pedestrian Promenade. A three-day design charrette was held in September, when roughly 150 community members gave input on the downtown core. A public survey gathered more feedback, and the group then spent the next few months refining the design. The focus of the plan is Granite and Galena streets, as well as the north-south avenues between Madison and Seventh, and the alleys behind Main Street.

“It takes us toward a place where we have a clear set of steps and action items that we are going to be able to follow and implement in order to achieve the street network we all envision,” Frisco Community Development Planner Susan Lee said.

The consultant team at Toole Design came up with four main principles of the plan:

  • Improve quality of life
  • Promote walking, biking and other alternative modes
  • Increase safety
  • Improve access to key destinations

The team also came up with new classifications for streets, like downtown collector street, local residential street and local commercial street. Granite would be a collector street, defined as “thoroughfares which carry traffic from local streets to major streets,” and Galena would be a residential street, while the avenues would be commercial streets.

These classifications each have their own design template. For example, Granite’s new cross section proposes a sidewalk and a mix of diagonal and parallel parking along the northern edge of the street and a shared-use path on the southern edge that ties into the rec path. The street designs allow for improved pedestrian and bicycle safety while still accommodating cars, parking, landscaping and snow removal.

The plan also includes an urban design palette that aims to unify amenities and furnishings, such as benches, light fixtures, waste bins, bike racks and planters. It serves as a guide for private-property owners in addition to the town to give the downtown a more cohesive identity.

It will be some time before the town redoes a street, however. In the presentation, the Frisco Town Council was given a variety of projects of differing scope. There are quick projects that can be implemented in a short time and at a low expense, and then there are larger, transformative projects that require more money and time.

Much of the easier improvements involve Granite Street. For roughly $10,000, the stop signs on that street could be optimized for safety and traffic flow. The intersection of Granite and Madison is another improvement area, and it would cost $24,000 to realign to make it safer. Lastly, $17,000 could add curb extensions on the northwest and northeast corners of the Granite Street and Second Avenue intersection.

Another possible Madison improvement is to do a pilot traffic circle where it intersects with Main Street. The circle, modeled after pilot programs in cities like Denver, would use temporary materials and cost $41,000.

Meanwhile, a more medium-term project could be a $35,000 study on redesigns for the Granite and Galena street alleys, while the $4.28 million long-term version would include the reconstruction.

The Town Council was generally supportive of everything brought up in the draft plan. However, Mayor Hunter Mortensen mentioned that he would want there to be tweaks to the crosswalk plans, since a car would have to drive over them and block them to safely see traffic. Council member Rick Ihnken said he would like more connection to the trails master plan.

Council member Melissa Sherburne noted that she would like to see the plan account for winter weather in the High Country.

“As you can see now throughout our community, the roads are covered with snow,” Sherburne said. “You can’t see the bike lane.”

Sagar Onta, project manager and regional engineering director for Toole Design, said the group talked with folks at the public works department to be mindful about snow removal requirements and that it plans to use more signage and not pavement markings or paint.

“We try to recommend elements that are more permanent and more easy to see during the winter months,” Onta said.

The public is invited to review and comment on the plan by Friday, Feb. 18, at Comments will be reviewed and incorporated into the final plan, which will go before the Town Council for adoption in late March.

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