Vail to update its transportation plan for first time since 2009

Frontage road and roundabout traffic, parking, noise, and loading and delivery among hot topics

Frontage road parking will be a likely topic addressed in an update of Vail’s transportation plan.
John LaConte/Vail Daily archive

A lot has changed since 2009. That’s the last time the town of Vail updated its transportation plan, so it’s time for an update.

The town this year will update that 2009 plan, with a focus on changing needs and technology. The town has for some time had $300,000 set aside for the update, and will select a consultant team in the spring of this year.

Among the hot topics to be examined in a new transportation plan will include frontage road and roundabout traffic, parking, noise, and loading and delivery.

Town Engineer Tom Kassmel said the entire planning project could take between 18 months up to three years.

Council member Travis Coggin said he hoped that process won’t affect current efforts to improve the loading and delivery systems in the town’s resort villages.

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There’s a pilot program, E-Vail Delivery, this season in Vail Village. That program has trucks drop their loads in the Mountain Plaza delivery drop area. Those items are then delivered to individual businesses by small electric vehicles.

Kassmel said he expects the new plan to include what’s already been done regarding loading and delivery.

Council member Pete Seibert asked about mobility and parking, particularly regarding the redevelopment of the Timber Ridge apartments. That’s another project that’s likely to be done before the transportation plan is complete.

“There’s always something going on,” Kassmel said. “We try to accommodate developments and plan for them.”

Mayor Kim Langmaid told Kassmel it’s also important to incorporate other town plans in this one. There’s already work being done on electric vehicles, safe passages for wildlife and other issues, Langmaid said.

“We have a huge list,” she added.

Kassmel said the transportation plan will incorporate and support the goals of other plans in town.

The plan is also likely to look into some of the town’s long-term, unrealized ideas including the prospect of covering some, or part, of Interstate 70 through town. The plan will also examine ways to include technology for electric vehicles, charging stations and moving people and goods around town.

There may also be a look at “advanced guideway systems,” which could use a form of rail to get people into and out of town.

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