Driving You Crazy: Traffic on Park Meadows Drive is so bad I can't get out of work

What's the plan for the traffic in this area?

Tasha from Lone tree writes, “What is driving you crazy? Intersection Lincoln Ave and Park Meadows Drive. When trying to leave from the Parkridge Medical building right behind the Chili’s restaurant. It's so dangerous to make a right turn onto park meadows needing to get into the left turning lane to go left onto Lincoln Ave. myself and so many others have almost gotten into plenty of accidents. They need to put a light or something to solve the problem. Everyone is so crammed on park meadows and won't let you in so it's very dangerous trying to cross to the left turning lane. They are building another apartment on park meadows so it's only going to get worse. What's the plan for the traffic in this area? Who else is experiencing the same problem in this intersection?”

 

I have Tasha. I too have suffered trying to cut through the traffic over there either attempting to get in of or out of the Chili’s/Key Bank lot. Traffic in Lone Tree has increased significantly and very quickly with the addition of all the new apartments, businesses and of course with the addition of the huge Charles Schwab campus.

Park Meadows Drive is a very busy road just about all day long but especially during the evening rush that can go past 7 p.m. The City of Lone Tree is very aware of the traffic congestion there. But as the city looks for a solution, they are doing so with their hands tied behind their back. The only part of the area that you are asking about in the City limits of Lone Tree is the actual roadway.

“The City has looked at trying to expand Park Meadows, but the City’s right-of-way is only about two feet behind the existing curb. To widen the street would require obtaining more right-of-way, which would begin to encroach on existing buildings,” said John Cotten, Public Works Director for Lone Tree. “The current condition is that very few of the properties along this corridor are in the City. The zoning and approvals for the significant majority of this development was not approved by the City,” Cotten said. 

Cotten told me if the City installed a traffic signal outside the Parkridge Medical building stopped traffic on northbound Park Meadows Drive would likely back traffic back up onto Lincoln Ave. That is something John says, “the City cannot allow to occur”.

    MORE: Read more traffic issues driving people crazy

John tells me the unfortunate bottom line is that with the existing development, there is very little that Lone Tree can do to improve the situation. “The options that the City has are to: 1) leave the intersection as it is, 2) prohibit left turns out of this driveway, or 3) close the intersection which would then become a fire department violation as there would only be one access to the development. To date, the City has chosen to leave the intersection in its current state,” Cotten said.

The City would like to have a traffic study done on Lincoln Ave from Park Meadows Drive to Havana, east of I-25 that includes the I-25 interchange. But before you get excited that changes would be coming soon, any recommended improvements could cost over $100 million and we would have to wait well over 10 years before any shovel goes into the ground. 

The best suggestion I can give to help you out right now is to point out the alternate exit to the north of the Parkridge medical building that will let you go southbound on Park Meadows Drive. That should be far enough north that you will be behind the Lincoln Ave backup. If you wanted to go north on Park Meadows Drive I believe you can use the service road behind the new apartments and the Level3 building.

I wish I had better news for you Tasha however, there are some roads that are not an easy fix to fix and this appears to be one of them. 

Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 20 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and Podbean

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