Resurfacing of Junction Road last summer was puzzling because the alligator-skin pattern of asphalt deterioration at Miller School indicated an area of greater need. Potholes compelled refilling. Bicycle-lane striping that eliminated parking by the school was removed in mid-December. More puzzles. No communication. What are the city’s priorities? – Junction Creek Resident
Every so often, Action Line is implored to investigate the Latest Controversy in Our Fair City.
Action Line checks out the scene but discovers that there’s no there there.
Such is the case with Junction Street.
The project is hardly enigmatic. Priorities have been clear from the start. And the city has bent over backwards to communicate what’s happening.
The facts will disappoint dour disbelievers.
In 2016, more than 800 people attended a series of meetings about Junction Street. As a result, residents made more than 450 unique comments for consideration.
In addition, a Virtual City Hall survey garnered 207 visitors and 159 responses.
The project webpage is at https://tinyurl.com/Jct-Dgo.
The site includes links to a comprehensive FAQ sheet, a dynamic log of public statements and detailed plans with aerial photos.
Not to be a nattering nabob of negativism, but any notion of municipal mysteriousness is malarkey.
Just to be pedantic, Action Line consulted with the two top local asphalt experts: Jennifer Hill, the city’s multimodal coordinator, and Mike Somsen, streets supervisor.
You might say that Jennifer and Mike are Road Scholars.
In any case, “Junction Connect” is part of the city’s greater plan to create a fully linked transportation network in Durango.
“A measure of achieving this vision,” the plan states, is for a middle-school kid to “safely and conveniently access transit and bike or walk independently throughout town.”
Junction Connect was identified as a “Tier 1, high-priority project during the 2016 update to the Multimodal Transportation Plan,” Jennifer said.
As for specifics, the upper section of Junction Street was repaved because it was in the worst shape, said streets superintendent Mike.
“We did that part first in order to avoid a complete reconstruction that would cost twice as much,” he said.
Bike lanes were then painted.
Some folks really hated that part, prompting the city to have ongoing meetings and conversations with neighbors, Miller Middle School and Durango School District 9-R, Jennifer added.
The bike stripes from West Second Avenue up to Miller were removed last month “in response to a need for on-street parking during community events at the school,” she said.
In the next week or two, the city and 9-R will issue a joint news release about the bike-lane removal, she said.
Meanwhile, in 2019, the city plans to remill asphalt and repave Junction Street abutting the middle school.
Other upcoming improvements include installing a “Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon” at West 25th Street and West Second Avenue, as well as painting “sharrows” where bike-lane markings were removed.
A “sharrow” looks like a bike with two chevrons above it. The symbol indicates a “shared-lane environment” for bikes and cars, the multimodal coordinator said.
Sharrow is a combination of “share” and “arrow.”
Action Line speculates that sharrows were created for “sporons” and “clentitled.”
“Sporons” is a blend of “speeding” and “morons,” which describes a lot of drivers.
Meanwhile, “clentitled” fuses “clueless” with “entitled,” which describes a lot of the non-motorists using Junction.
Thus, Durango aims for “multimobedience,” in which everyone follows the rules of the road.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if your multimodal plan includes driving your car to the Rec Center to ride a stationery bike and walk on a treadmill.