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What's Driving You Crazy?: Safety at bike crossing signal on Santa Fe at C-470

"You are within inches of vehicles, many of them trucks."
Biker on Santa Fe
Posted at 4:51 AM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 07:48:57-04

Sandi from Highlands Ranch writes, “What's driving you crazy? There are some excellent bike trails in the Highlands Ranch/Douglas County area. I can bike continuously from my home to the C-470 trail, to Mary Carter Greenway, up to Lee Gulch, and then back home on the Highline Canal Trail a total of 18 miles. I am so thankful for these trails! However, a lot of cyclists have to cross Santa Fe Drive at the intersection just south of C-470. You have to enter the intersection in order to access the crossing signal. It puts you within inches of vehicles, many of them are commercial trucks, dump trucks, semis, concrete mixers etc. It would be nice to have a bicycle bridge there but that probably isn't going to happen in my lifetime. My request is this: Could they move the crossing signal back to the trail so that I wouldn't be waiting with vehicles literally surrounding me?

Sandi, the crossing is moving to a much safer place. Not just back up the road a bit, but under Santa Fe and away from the traffic all together.

Douglas County, with some assistance from CDOT, will be replacing and widening the Santa Fe bridge that carries traffic over C-470. The bridge replacement will not just make traffic flow better and safer, it also provides a new bike separated connection for the C-470 Trail. The new layout for the Centennial trail will take it under Santa Fe and along the south side of C470.

This design will allow bicyclists and pedestrians the option to cross under Santa Fe without having to come up to Santa Fe. It eliminates any conflict and from being interrupted by the heavy traffic on Santa Fe. The new wider Santa Fe bridge over C-470 will also provide a much needed pedestrian and bicycle connection between the C-470 Centennial Trail and the Wolhurst Senior Community, located just west of the Santa Fe/County Line Road intersection. Currently, the community has no pedestrian access.

MORE: Read more traffic issues driving people crazy

The project team is currently in the final stages of determining construction phasing and utility relocation plans. Right-of-way acquisition is substantially complete, and some utility relocation work is underway, but several other utilities plan to be relocated before this major construction project commences.

The invitation to qualified contractors to bid on the widening and reconstruction on US Highway 85 (between Highlands Ranch Parkway to north Dad Clark Gulch) is currently anticipated to occur on or before July 29, 2021. If this deadline is met, then actual construction is anticipated to begin in October 2021.

This is just part of a major reconstruction project of Santa Fe south of C-470 that includes some new continuous flow intersections. I talked a lot about the changes in a previous Driving You Crazy Story. You can also read more about this project on the Douglas County US 85 project page.

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 iTunes , Stitcher , Google Play or Podbean.