Local Residents Help Speerhead Installation of Two New Crosswalks
Douglas County traffic worker prepares Monarch Boulevard for a new pedestrian crosswalk in Daniel’s Gate.
Article and photos by Terri Wiebold
Two new pedestrian crosswalk projects have been cooperatively undertaken by the Metro District and the County that would not have come to fruition were it not for the input of local Castle Pines North (CPN) residents. As a result, pedestrian crosswalks will be built across Hidden Point Boulevard (near Coyote Ridge Park) and across Monarch Boulevard (just north of Daniel’s Gate Road), weather permitting, in the next few months.
Hidden Point Crosswalk Project
Denise Gardner, a resident in the Green Briar neighborhood of CPN II HOA, frequently visits Coyote Ridge Park with her family. While the park is within walking distance, Gardner chooses to drive her three small children because she feels it is safer.
“Taking the trail seems like a good idea until you reach Hidden Pointe Boulevard,” said Gardner. “There is not a safe way to cross the road without either walking in the gutter along the south side of Hidden Pointe Boulevard or by taking your chances and traversing over the median, which is filled with large river rock.”
Gardner sent an e-mail to the Metro District and the Master Association recommending a crosswalk project be considered for the 2007 budget.
Janet Conner, Master Association Board member and Safety Committee Chairperson, organized a meeting between Metro District Parks and Open Space Manager Charlie Fagan, and Douglas County Principal Traffic Engineer Robert Kenny, to evaluate the problem. As a result of the meeting, the Metro District has requested bids for the project and permits have been submitted with the County.
Current plans include cutting through the rock median, painting a crosswalk across Hidden Pointe Boulevard, and adding a handicap wheelchair ramp connecting to the existing sidewalk on the north side of Hidden Pointe Boulevard.
“This crosswalk will definitely increase the number of times we walk to the park,” said Gardner. “Many Master Association-sponsored events are held there, and it will be nice to walk to more of them.”
Daniel’s Gate Drive Crosswalk Project
Kurtis Kroekel, a resident of the Serena development in Daniel’s Gate, was equally frustrated by a pedestrian safety issue in his neighborhood. (Kroekel’s safety concern was featured in the From the Mailbox section of the October issue of The Connection.) He voiced his concerns and e-mailed the Master Association, the Metro District, and Douglas County Traffic Engineering regarding crossing Monarch Boulevard to access the Daniel’s Gate community pool. A similar letter of concern was also sent to the Master Association from the Carlson family in Serena.
While discussing the Hidden Pointe crosswalk at the meeting organized by Conner, plans were also approved to move forward with the crosswalk across Monarch Boulevard and will include a new sidewalk.
The new sidewalk is scheduled to be constructed extending along the east side of Monarch Boulevard, extending from Catarata Way to Serena Avenue. In addition, a crosswalk will be painted across Monarch Boulevard, approximately 100 feet north of the intersection of Monarch and Daniel’s Gate Drive. The crosswalk will have a pedestrian-activated advance warning signal that, when pushed, will cause lights to flash at the crosswalk, as well as lights 350 feet on either side of the crosswalk, warning drivers that a pedestrian is crossing.
According to Kenny, these advance warning flashers -combined with additional signs – should make drivers more aware of the crosswalk and should increase safety for pedestrians crossing at that location. Kenny continued, “If it were not for the partnership between the Metro District and the County, the funding for these projects would not have been available. The County had some funds remaining in its normal safety budget for the year, but not nearly enough to cover the projects.”
The Metro District is funding the sidewalk project, which is estimated to cost $70,000. The entire project is expected to cost $125,000.
As for Kroekel, he said he was thrilled and shocked to hear they were going forward with the project so quickly. “It makes me feel good that my efforts worked; that the Master Association communicated the problem to the County and the parks people (Metro District) to make this project happen.” He continued, “It works and benefits everyone to make suggestions and send them up the chain instead of just complaining.”
Hats off to Denise Gardner and Kurtis Kroekel for stepping up with ideas to solve a problem. Special thanks to Janet Conner, Charlie Fagan, and Robert Kenny for moving so quickly on this project and for making positive changes for pedestrians in the Castle Pines North community.
Share ideas with the Master Association and make a difference in the community. Be an advocate and e-mail ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. Safety concerns can be sent to email@example.com.