Avon road diet could cost $2.5M
September 16, 2016
AVON — Architects of the controversial road diet test traffic pattern on East and West Beaver Creek Boulevard met with the community this week.
The group Design Workshop has been contracted by the town of Avon for $180,000 for the test, Mike Albert with Design Workshop told the group on Thursday, and has so far billed for about $40,000 of that amount. A total of $2.5 million will be allocated for the road diet in 2017 according to the plan. The Avon Town Council is set to vote on it in the coming months, but first, Thursday's design workshop was set up with a goal of getting feedback on the project.
In a meeting that saw nearly as many public servants and Avon staff in attendance as community members, multiple choice questions were answered by all regarding the previous configuration of West and East Beaver Creek Boulevard, the current road diet and two other road diet plans.
Among the first questions on the live questionnaire was how satisfied were attendants with Beaver Creek Boulevard prior to the road diet; 54 percent said they were satisfied or very satisfied, and 41 percent said they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.
The current road diet configuration has added 30 parking spaces to West Beaver Creek Boulevard, something at least one attendant said was much needed.
Attendants were given paper maps of two other road diet ideas, with the new parking in different places. Among the final questions on the live questionnaire was which of those two road diet options they supported; 66 percent said the option with angle parking and an on-street bike lane, 10 percent said neither option.
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Following the questionnaire, residents expressed frustration with the way the feedback was received, saying they thought they would get a chance to share their thoughts.
Council member Jake Wolf asked if there was a way the questionnaire could be administered online. Town Manager Virginia Egger said the town felt it would not be appropriate to allow the public access to the questionnaire if they had not first seen the Design Workshop presentation, but town staff will look into making both the presentation and questionnaire available online.
A couple participants interrupted the meeting to express frustration with its format.
"You guys have done all the talking, and no one else has gotten to voice their concerns," said one local, who asked not to be identified in this story. Wolf encouraged her and others to speak out.
"I started taking notes because all of a sudden I realized no one else was," Wolf said. "At that point I was feeling a lot like those people, frustrated by the format of this meeting."
Following the meeting, Wolf talked with Avon resident Norma Carter and her husband about the road diet.
"I'm against it," Wolf said. "This whole thing started with a few people saying 'we could use another crosswalk by Bob's Place,' and now it's ballooned into a $2.5 million road diet, and I just can't support it. There's lots of other places I'd like to see that money go."