CDOT owns Mountain Ave.

Rudy Hemmann

The Surveyor

During a study session discussion concerning the lowering of speed limits and the placement of crosswalk signage on Mountain Avenue, which was held Tuesday evening, CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation) representative Larry Haas, traffic operations engineer, left little doubt in the minds of the trustees who would be the final arbiter of any changes made to either.

When asked why CDOT has the final say regarding the issues being discussed, his answer was clear and to the point. It is because Berthoud’s main street is also a state highway. (State Highway 56).

That being said, Haas did say he would be willing to work with the town within certain narrow confines.

Regarding the question of whether CDOT would look favorably on the town purchasing pedestrian-activated crosswalk signs with flashing lights and installing them at select locations of the Mountain Avenue right-of-way his response was, “We at CDOT would prefer you didn’t, because what we strive for across the state is consistency.” He pointed out that if Berthoud were allowed to put up their own crosswalk signs it would not be long before other communities, both large and small, would want the same freedom and CDOT would slowly lose control of the signage allowed along the state highway system.

He asked for specifics about where in town there had been pedestrian accidents, and the response was at the intersection of Third Street and Mountain Avenue. Haas noted that intersection already has a full complement of signs. He was informed the flashing light signs would be placed several blocks to the west, at the crosswalk leading to Hayes Market. This is a poplar crossing point for school children and there have been “near misses” at that crossing.

The suggestion was made, if the cost of the signage was an issue, that the town purchase the pedestrian-activated flashing light signs and have the state install and maintain the signs.

Lowering the speed limit from 30 miles per hour (MPH) to 25 MPH on Mountain Avenue east of Eighth Street was also discussed. Haas stated CDOT would not change the posted speed limit without first doing a traffic study of the roadway in question. The study would be done during the day, Monday through Friday, excluding “rush hour” traffic. The purpose of a traffic study is to find the speed that “free flow” traffic moves on a roadway.

The trustees heard an update from the Youth Advisory Committee. Presenters were; Eric Godfrey, Genevieve Babyak, Juliet Babyak, Matthew Yannutz, Sam Hatton and Conner Saruta.

The group informed the board of the progress made by the committee in drafting their bylaws, learning about working with other committee members to achieve goals, and the importance of communication with other committee members and the public.

A social media policy was presented by Kim Newcomer. Benefits and risks of using social media are outlined in the policy presented.

Topics discussed were;

First Amendment Rights – Honoring and protecting the right to free speech while maintaining a civil and welcoming environment.

Creation of Accounts – Continue to speak with one voice, create brand consistency and ensure the proper resources are allocated to management.

Management and Behavior Expectation of Staff – Be responsive, informative ad professional.

Use By Elected Officials – Ensure residents understand the difference between personal opinion and official town positions and elected officials do not unknowingly violate open-meeting and other laws.

The trustees discussed a development code for the downtown area and received a report regarding the recently purchased and delivered Fiscal Model software.

 

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