City releases draft of transportation plan

Lone Tree's first transportation master plan outlines future needs

Posted 11/12/19

For the first time, the City of Lone Tree will have a comprehensive guideline for mobility within the city. The City of Lone Tree is reviewing a first draft of its first-ever Transportation Master …

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City releases draft of transportation plan

Lone Tree's first transportation master plan outlines future needs

Posted

For the first time, the City of Lone Tree will have a comprehensive guideline for mobility within the city.

The City of Lone Tree is reviewing a first draft of its first-ever Transportation Master Plan, which will map out guidelines and future transportation needs through 2040.

The plan was made in conjunction with the Douglas County transportation plan, released Oct. 29. Justin Schmitz, Lone Tree's public works director, said it was necessary to keep tabs with the Douglas County plan to make sure both plans are consistent. In the past, the city's guidelines came from a county-wide perspective, which, Schmitz said, overlooked some of the local roads within the city.

“By going into a more detailed analysis and finer scale, we're able to find improvements … that can make a big difference to people using our system,” Schmitz said. “When you're looking at more of a regional area, you're looking at big corridor improvements and you don't get to some of those details.”

The plan is coordinated also with the city's strategic plan, 2040 Master Plan, RidgeGate East and West Development Plans and the city's 2016 comprehensive plan — all of which are various guidelines for future planning in the city.

“This (transportation plan) considers a wide range of transportation network improvements necessary to continue the development of a complete transportation system that integrates all travel modes,” the plan reads.

To view the full plan, visit CityofLoneTree.com, click "Projects" on the right-hand sidebar, then "City of Lone Tree Transportation Plan 2040."

Lone Tree Mayor Jackie Millet could not be reached for comment.

Three focus areas were identified in the plan: Yosemite Street, from Chester Street to Kimmer Drive; Lincoln Avenue, from Yosemite Street to Park Meadows Drive; and RidgeGate Parkway from Commons Street to Park Meadows Drive.

The intersections were identified based on an A-F rating for level of service. Three intersections received a failing grade for level of service. An “F” means a car could be stuck at a light for as many as three cycles. Yosemite Street at Kimmer Drive, the west mall entrance and Park Meadows Drive all received failing grades. Lincoln Avenue at Yosemite Street also received failing grades and are not expected to improve on level of service, regardless of improved service at those intersections by 2040. RidgeGate Parkway intersections at Commons Street and Park Meadows Boulevard are expected to improve once a traffic signal is installed at each intersection.

The city completed an analysis of the intersections' operations and levels of service.

The plan looks at various transportation needs as the city and the south metro area continue to surge in population. The city has a population of about 15,000 with about 6,000 households — and about 30,000 people in the city during a given workday. By 2040, Lone Tree is expected to have more than 23,000 households and close to 47,000 employees working in the city.

The plan includes guidelines for roadways, sidewalks, trails and bike lanes as well as travel demand, maintenance, funding and regional coordination.

A data set of car collisions in the city showed key areas for safety improvements in the transportation plan. Unsurprisingly, the bulk of collisions occurred on Lincoln Avenue at different intersections. The I-25 and Lincoln Avenue interchange saw the most with 112 collisions between 2014 and 2018. The city received approval from the Denver Regional Council of Governments Transportation Improvement Program for improvements to that intersection, which will be a combined effort from several agencies, including Arapahoe and Douglas counties.

“That's the point in the city where everyone flows into our community,” Schmitz said. “Focusing on that interchange is a very exciting project coming to the City of Lone Tree.”

The majority of Lone Tree's roadway network has already been completed, according to the plan. The city has completed planning for future development of RidgeGate East, the area east of I-25 and south of Lincoln Avenue. The widening of RidgeGate Parkway began this year and will serve as the main arterial through the RidgeGate East neighborhood.

Schmitz said creating the transportation plan document confirmed a lot of the planning the city has already in place.

“When we look at this plan, one of the good things is a lot of our roadway network does have a capacity to grow and a lot of the projects we have built or are building right now are allowing us to accommodate the future growth we see,” Schmitz said.

The plan also calls for interconnectivity between bike and trail systems and the roadway network. The goal there is to improve air quality and promote a healthier lifestyle, the plan states. The city completed a Walk and Wheel study in 2014 to gain an image of its trail, bike path and walkway network. In 2018, the city officially opened its Leaf Pedestrian Bridge, a nod to its efforts to promote walkability within the city.

The transportation plan draft is available for public feedback until Nov. 19. It is scheduled to be reviewed by the planning commission Jan. 14. It is scheduled to go before city council Feb. 4.

Schmitz said the document was a valuable step toward enhancing the transportation system moving forward.

“One of the biggest things I found is it really allowed us to look at the entire transportation system in Lone Tree for all modes together,” Schmitz said. “How it's going to fit together today and how It's going to fit in the future.”

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