Summit County moves forward with safety measures for Dillon Valley neighborhood
Colorizing pedestrian and bike lanes, installation of speed signs and more approved for this year
During a Summit Board of County Commissioners work session on Tuesday, May 4, Summit County officials said they are moving forward on implementing short-term safety measures in the Dillon Valley neighborhood.
The conversation stems from a December 2020 work session when the county commissioners gave the go ahead to assess the cost and engineering feasibility of a variety of proposed improvements for the neighborhood. At Tuesday’s meeting, officials discussed which measures should be taken immediately.
During the meeting, Robert Jacobs, road and bridge director and county engineer, reviewed a memo that identified each proposed improvement and the cost estimate associated with each project.
Projects in the memo included bicycle and pedestrian lane colorizing, which would repaint existing walk and bike lanes to create visual differences. Other changes included additional or expanded striping of Evergreen Road at the intersection with U.S. Highway 6 to create safe pedestrian and bike lanes.
The installation of digital speed signs, a better crosswalk delineation at the Dillon Valley Elementary School and temporary or seasonal speed humps were also proposed.
Almost every project, except for the temporary speed humps, was approved.
The first project agreed upon by the commissioners was to use an epoxy to colorize the bicycle and pedestrian lanes near Deer Path School Zone and Straight Creek to Canyon Trail. This project will cost $34,668 according to the memo, though Jacobs noted his team has not yet received bids.
In addition to colorizing this area, Jacobs proposed colorizing the entire Straight Creek and Deer path loop, a measure Summit County Commissioner Tamara Pogue was adamant the county should eventually implement. Pogue is a resident of the Dillon Valley area.
“Dillon Valley is dangerous from a walkability standpoint,” Pogue said. “I personally have had a dog get hit. It is only a question of time, in my mind, until something more serious than that happens. I would like to see this happen as quickly as possible.”
Pogue noted that it’s not just an issue of speed, it’s also one of congestion, and that colorizing this entire area would be the first step in the right direction. According to the memo, using an epoxy on this entire area would cost $390,534.
Commissioners Elisabeth Lawrence and Josh Blanchard agreed with Pogue, but Jacobs mentioned that with the county’s current staff, he was unsure colorizing this large area could happen before year-end. The commissioners agreed to epoxy the school zone first, and to also get the larger loop finished if a contractor could be found this year, too.
Pogue also proposed adding rumble strips or other barriers to separate walking paths from roadways to increase pedestrian safety. Pogue said this could even be an alternative to sidewalks, which can be costly.
In addition to approving the epoxy, the commissioners approved additional or expanded striping at Evergreen Road at the intersection with Highway 6, which would create safe bicycle and pedestrian lanes. According to the memo, this project is estimated to cost $70,000 and is planned to be completed prior to July 4.
Commissioners also agreed to two additional movable digital speed signs priced at $3,000 per sign. The signs would be purchased before the end of the year.
Restriping the crosswalks near the elementary school was also approved, and the commissioners added that a new flashing crosswalk sign should be added too. According to the memo, this project would be finished by Memorial Day. The memo did not specify a cost estimate for restriping the crosswalks, but it did state that it would cost around $200 per sign.
During the meeting, Lawrence noted that since the team didn’t have estimates for the cost of the proposed safety measures, none of these projects are included in the county’s budget. It’s expected the county would make an amendment once bids for each approved project have been received.
Brian Lorch, open space and trails director for the county, also discussed progress related to the area’s open space and trails.
“What we’re looking at in the short term is creating a trail that would connect from Little Beaver down at the bottom up to Piney Acres Road up through the properties Summit County owns up through the hillside there,” Lorch said.
According to the memo, a subcommittee has been formed to identify potential development of a community trail network “that appropriately connects to the surrounding trails and pedestrian and bicycle paths.” The committee is composed of county staff, town of Dillon staff, Dillon Valley District staff, community residents and Walkable Dillon Valley community groups.
The route Lorch discussed would be completed this summer. In the meantime, the subcommittee would identify other projects for the long term.
Pogue noted that this route is accessible for residents living on the west side of Dillon Valley and asked what trails are planned for residents living on the east side. Lorch said that planning for those trails would take more time, largely because the county doesn’t have as much land to dedicate to development and that it would need to work with the town of Dillon and residents to identify possible land.
“It really feels like there’s some action that is going to happen this year,” Lawrence said.
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