Minturn looking to lower speed limit
Sign the petition
It is important for the town of Minturn to gather not just support with its own residents, but with residents across the valley, as well. The petition will go to the Colorado Department of Transportation in an attempt to lower the speed limit through town.
MINTURN — There have been two pedestrians hit by cars in Minturn since Jan. 1, and the town is seeking public support — from across the valley — to try and get the Colorado Department of Transportation to lower the speeds.
An online petition had 45 signatures as of Thursday evening, with a goal of 100. Signatures from residents outside of Minturn will carry some extra weight when presented to CDOT.
The town is collecting data to present to CDOT and joined with the petition should prevent what happened last time Minturn asked to reduce the speed limits.
In the 1990s, CDOT came in at the town’s request and based on CDOTs ensuing research, it determined the speed limits should be increased instead of decreased — like the town wanted.
“The main speed problem is on the south Main Street and south of town,” Mayor Pro Tem Earle Bidez said.
With new development south of town, including Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, and the lack of sidewalks there, cars are traveling 45 mph — the current speed limit — past people walking or commuting down the edge of the road.
“I imagine walking down there and having an 18-wheeler going 45 mph by you and you’re 6 feet away from it,” Bidez said. “That feels pretty darn fast.”
The long-term solution the town is hoping for is its sidewalk project, still two years away. The sidewalks should help narrow the road — or at lease create the appearance — and thus slow down traffic, Bidez said, in addition to separating cars from pedestrians.
The sidewalk project requires coordination with CDOT.
“CDOT’s already pushed us back one year,” Bidez said.
Short-term, the town is looking into adding a speed sign that flashes when above the speed limit. However, the town doesn’t want to implement it until it collects its data for CDOT to avoid skewing information.
The speed limit reduction could happen sooner.
“We’re hoping within two months we’ll be able to sit down with CDOT,” Bidez said.
Minturn Town Councilmember Terry Armistead has helped lead the way with lowering the speed limit through town.
“I’ve lived in Minturn for 17 years and people just fly by my house,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to lower the speed limit and finally just got fed up.”
Besides the safety of the neighborhood children, including her own, Armistead said even pulling out of her driveway onto U.S. Highway 24 can be “dangerous.”
“We need to really rally as much support as we can valleywide,” she said, “not just in Minturn.”
To sign the petition, visit http://www.Minturn.org and look for the petition: “Support slower speeds in Minturn. Safe neighborhoods for all.” Or, visit ww.Change.org and search “Support lower speeds in Minturn.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.