Kate from Littleton writes, “What's driving you crazy? There is a double left onto Broadway from Arapahoe Road. A sign on the stoplight reads that you should yield to pedestrians and traffic. Monty Nuss Photography is on the west side of Broadway and has an entrance/exit to the business at the light. It is my understanding that traffic turning left onto Broadway from Arapahoe Road should yield to pedestrians crossing Broadway and cars exiting straight from Monty Nuss Photography to head east bound on Arapahoe Road. However, very rarely does traffic yield to cars exiting Monty Nuss Photography and I have seen too many close calls with pedestrians and bicyclists. What’s the deal with this intersection?”
The Broadway and Arapahoe intersection, Kate, is unusual from the standpoint that one of the four directions is a driveway to and from a private business. The city of Littleton says physical constraints around Monty Nuss Photography require access to Broadway in the way the intersection is currently designed. However, the city tells me they aren’t overly concerned with the safety of the people who use it as the level of conflicts and incidents are extremely low.
The City of Littleton shared with me the crash history from incidents reported by the Littleton Police Department from Jan. 1, 2017 to Aug. 30, 2021. That data indicates there have been 43 total crashes including one involving a person on a bike. None of the reported crashes over the last five years included a pedestrian. Just three of the crashes included an injury.
The City of Littleton Public Works department tells me these figures don’t rank this location anywhere near the top for crashes around the City of Littleton or even as one of the most concerning locations along the Broadway corridor. The crash rate calculates to approximately 0.6%. Crash rates under 1% are typically considered low incident locations. Based on recent volume counts, Monty Nuss Photography generates very little traffic exiting or entering the property throughout the day, resulting in minimal conflicts with the westbound to southbound turning traffic from Arapahoe Road.
Carol Nuss of Monty Nuss Photography agrees, telling me the intersection really isn’t too dangerous, seeing only a couple of crashes in all the years they have been there. She tells me it can be tricky to get drivers who make the turn from westbound Arapahoe to southbound Broadway to yield to customers coming from her business. She wishes the City of Littleton would put up a yield sign to make drivers more aware that customers could be going east from their driveway east on Arapahoe.
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Transportation Engineering Manager Aaron Heumann with the Littleton Public Works Department explained to me that the city has four separate ongoing improvements projects that will impact the future of the Broadway and Arapahoe Road intersection in a variety of different ways.
“First, the city is working with the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) to develop updated signal timing plans for the entire Broadway corridor through Littleton. This project will develop revised signal timing plans for all of the signalized intersections along Broadway extending from Englewood (north of Powers Avenue), through Littleton (Powers Avenue to County Line Road), into Douglas County (south of County Line Road) and should be completed in 2022. The timing plans are based on recent volume counts, the spacing between intersections, and left turn phasing requirements, with the goal to progress through traffic as efficiently as possible at different times of the day so as to reduce vehicle delay and carbon emissions from idling and accelerating vehicles.
Second, the city received a Regional Transportation Operations and Technology grant through DRCOG to install fiberoptic communications and upgrade signal equipment along Broadway between Powers Avenue and Arapahoe Road. This work is being conducted in cooperation with Arapahoe County and the City of Centennial to provide more reliable communications and improve signal reliability. This project is currently under design and is scheduled to be constructed in 2022. This project is proposed to include the necessary equipment to allow the city to implement leading pedestrian intervals for crossing Broadway at both Caley Avenue and Arapahoe Road for pedestrians and bicyclists. A leading pedestrian interval is a signal timing action where the walk symbol is initiated for the crossing maneuver a couple of seconds in advance of providing a green indication to the corresponding vehicular movement. This allows pedestrians to start crossing before traffic is released such that they are more visible in the crosswalk.
Third, the city is working with Arapahoe County and the High Line Canal Conservancy to evaluate and develop improvements for the High Line Canal crossing at the Broadway and Arapahoe Road intersection, which may include recommendations for anything from signal operational modifications and striping and signage changes to an undercrossing for the High Line Canal under Broadway just south of Arapahoe Road.
Fourth, the city received a Transportation Improvement Plan grant to study the Broadway corridor throughout the city boundaries. This study follows the city’s recently updated Comprehensive Plan and first ever Transportation Master Plan, which identified the Broadway corridor as having a high potential for change over the next couple of decades. The purpose of this study will be to provide guidance to city staff for the future needs related to changing land uses in the corridor, supporting economic viability, and incorporating community preferences. This project is being conducted in cooperation with the City and County of Denver, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, the City of Englewood, and the City of Centennial, and is expected to begin in 2022.”
The City of Littleton tells me they see the Broadway corridor as a critical part of both the local and regional transportation network, and is investing time and money to study, design, and implement improvements in the near term and long term.
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