Avon proposes funding for trails
AVON — The Avon Town Council, at its Oct. 27 work session, directed that staff include funding for hard and soft trail development in the 2016 budget. The budget hearing is set for Dec. 8.
The trail development proposed for 2016 completes the last segment of the Eagle Valley Regional Trail in the town. The segment is one of the most important for safety as it will move walkers and bike riders off of US 6. Funding will also construct the long-discussed Metcalf Road bike climbing lane up to Wildwood Road. Mountain bike trail promoters requested funding at the meeting for trail maintenance in the West Avon Preserve and new trail development. Council addressed both requests with funding support.
The council also has placed a priority on the core streets in town becoming more walkable and bike friendly. The first major project proposed is a new treatment for West and East Beaver Creek boulevards, which will develop dedicated bike lanes, promote walkability and increase on-street parking. Safety improvements on Avon Road are also planned beneath the I-70 overpass.
In setting projects and funding levels at the work session, council emphasized the projects as important community amenities, investments which increase economic development activity, and recognition of the need to segregate walkers and bike riders, where needed, from vehicle lanes.
The recommended projects and funding levels are:
Eagle Valley Trails Phase 3, Avon Road to Stonebridge: $2,825,000: The final phase of the trail will be completed in 2016. CDOT grant funds will provide $1,350,000 of the project costs and ECO Trails will provide $453,534, with the balance from the town’s real estate transfer tax. The project will also underground the power lines along US 6 which will be paid for from Community Enhancement Funds.
Metcalf Road bike climbing lane, $860,000: Project will construct a 6-foot-wide bicycle climbing lane from Nottingham Road to Wildwood Road to improve safety for bicyclists. A full asphalt overlay ($400,000) is included for the project. Money is from real estate transfer taxes.
2009 Trails Master Plan Update, $17,000: Money will be used to retain a consultant to update the plan with the community, for both soft and hard trails, including connectivity planning.
New trail development, $100,000: Money, once the updated plan is completed, will be used to directly fund trail development or match grant opportunities.
West Avon Preserve Trails Maintenance, $16,000: The General Fund has programmed funds for trail maintenance. In addition, a grant has been submitted for sustainable trail maintenance and fence removal at the Preserve.
Avon Road Safety Improvements under I-70 overpass, $88,000: Money will be used for improved drainage and lighting in order to reduce current dangerous conditions under the I-70 overpass.
West Beaver Creek Boulevard, Phase 1 Improvements, $1,207,000: The street will be improved to support pedestrian sidewalks and dedicated bicycle lanes. New landscaping and complete street travel lane rehabilitation is planned. Improvements to East Beaver Creek Boulevard are planned for 2017.
Highway 6 through EagleVail’s business district will go on a diet in 2021 — cinching its belt from five lanes to three.