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Crested Butte Intersection Reconstruction.......

June 15, 2005

Crosswalk in Crested Butte
The Town of Crested Butte has decided to move forward with reconstruction of the intersection of Sixth and Elk based on a plan prepared by Charlier Associates in 1999. The plan calls for reconstruction of the intersection to accommodate bus transit service and safe pedestrian movements at this busy entrance to downtown Crested Butte.

Reconstruction of the intersection is being funded with federal “enhancement” program funds and must be completed by the end of 2006. The intersection represents the last phase of corridor improvements recommended by Charlier Associates in the “Sixth Street Corridor Improvement Plan” completed in 1999 with extensive public involvement. Other components of the plan have been built and are in use.

Final design of intersection improvements was delayed initially by a local economic recession and then was further delayed as the Town Board considered alternative designs for the complex location, including a concept proposed by a Board member. As the deadline for commitment of the federal funds approached, the Town took a year to reevaluate the plan, deciding in the end that the original plan was the right one.

The Sixth Street Corridor Improvement Plan was one result of a regional transportation master plan prepared by Charlier Associates earlier in 1999. The Upper Gunnison Valley TMP was prepared for a consortium of local governments including Gunnison County, the Towns of Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte, and the City of Gunnison. The plan, adopted by all four elected boards in joint session, applied the concepts of “carrying capacity” and “community character” to the issues of traffic growth and land development patterns. The intersection of Sixth and Elk, as the entryway to Crested Butte was seen as key to the character of this former mining town.

The view along the Sixth Street corridor coming down into Crested Butte with the Elk Range looming overhead is one of the premier mountain vistas in Colorado. Local citizens were unwilling to accept the concept of a multilane intersection with traffic signals and long pedestrian crossings. The CAI plan will reorganize the intersection to facilitate circulation by the Mountain Express bus fleet which plays a key role in local mobility, especially in the winter months. Limited turn lanes will enable the Town to maintain stop sign traffic control in a low speed environment.

To learn more about this project click here


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