Letter: Fixing Eagle’s traffic problems | VailDaily.com

Letter: Fixing Eagle’s traffic problems

Suzanne Shepard
Eagle, CO Colorado

Open letter to the Eagle Town Board, Planning Commission and staff Re: Traffic congestion in the Town of Eagle

In late summer of 2007 there was a meeting for Eagle area residents at the Eagle Library concerning traffic. The room was full, and a discussion panel led the way with facts and figures about the traffic congestion in and around Eagle. The town engineer participated, the county engineer was there and an engineer from Colorado Department of Transportation. We heard astounding numbers about the costs of improvements, and concerns about where the money will come from. We will all pay! The developers of subdivisions, residential and commercial, should have been asked to help pay for the road improvements and other capital improvements that you are now trying to resolve.

Continuing development should be responsible for any new impacts on the community.

One thing we learned from CDOT at this meeting is that there will be one interchange between Wolcott and Gypsum. Do we need it 1-1/2 miles east of Eagle for a new development, where all the local traffic will still end up at Eby Creek and Hwy. 6 at the roundabout? Or do we need it near the airport, Gateway commercial development, Costco and Brush Creek residential? Currently, everyone has to travel through Eagle to get where they want to go, including commercial trucks and travelers in and out of the airport. Most would choose to avoid the Hwy. 6 and Eby Creek Rd. interchange as well as Hwy. 6, leaving it for the community for local use.

If we live here, we all know we have a problem in Eagle. I made several suggestions at the meeting, (not all my own). The audience as well as the engineers seemed to agree they were good ideas. These are the suggestions to immediately remedy some of the problems.

1. Make a four-way stop at Eby Creek Road and Market Street. This would allow people exiting Market St. a fair chance to turn left onto Eby Creek road and not be backed up for 15 minutes or more certain times of the day. Some cars turn right (or north) and then make an illegal U-turn in order to get into the southbound lane. This extends the line of cars waiting at the stop light even further up Eby Creek Rd.. Notice the sign in the ambulance district driveway because of this problem saying NO U-TURNS!

2. Create a right turn lane at the intersection of Eby Creek Road and I-70 at the westbound on-ramp. The pavement is there, a little creative paint would allow right turning cars to get out of the south bound traffic flow.

3. Lengthen the right lane of the I-70 westbound off-ramp for right-turning cars, to shorten the left lane of cars extending out on I-70, before someone gets hit from behind by traffic continuing west on I-70.

The problem with these simple changes is that planners have to “plan” for two years. They have to “study” the situation to see if it will work. They already know what the problems are. This is the way all government works. Slowly. What would it take to put up two more stop signs at Market Street and Eby Creek Rd, or for that matter take them down if it doesn’t work? We need changes now.

Get your planners and engineers going on some immediate changes. We are stuck with unacceptable, frustrating and dangerous traffic problems because they weren’t dealt with at the time of past approvals. We can’t wait for roundabouts and don’t need an interchange in the wrong place. Please get busy and try some sensible, easy solutions before another day goes by or someone is seriously hurt.

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