5.1 Assessment of Existing System and Its Deficiencies
5.1.1 Existing County Roadway Network
5.1.2 County Roadway Deficiencies
Existing Traffic Volumes
Safety And Intersection Deficiencies
5.1.3 Bicycle Facilities
5.1.4 Transit System
5.1.5 Rail System
5.2 Future Transportation Plan
5.2.1 Potential Mobility Corridors
5.3 Guiding Principles And Implementation Strategies for Transportation
The transportation system plays a key role in determining land use patterns.
On the other hand, land use is an important factor in determining roadway
functions and designs. Consequently, land use planning and transportation
planning must be coordinated to achieve the objectives of each.
The primary purpose of a transportation system is to move people and goods in a safe and efficient manner. A variety of different travel demands needs to be considered to fulfill this purpose, as in the case of traffic passing through the County versus traffic from rural parts of the County with a city destination. The movement of people and goods also involves various transportation modes - vehicular, transit, pedestrian and bicycle - to provide for a high degree of mobility to all segments of the population.
The County roadway system is currently the key element of the transportation
system in accommodating the majority of travel needs outside municipal
limits. This is likely to remain the case into the foreseeable future as
some form of private automobile remains the primary mode of transportation.
Therefore, it is important to develop a transportation plan that will enable
the County to identify a system to satisfy the travel needs of County residents.
In the past, the County roadway network was designed to serve rural and regional needs. Arterial and local roads were constructed in conjunction with low-density development patterns. Recent growth and development in the County have created an increase in traffic demands on this roadway network that are not easily accommodated.
The County's ability to construct new roads and improve existing roads is severely limited due to lack of funding. A majority of the County's road and bridge budget is currently used for maintenance and repair of existing roads. These maintenance costs are directly attributable to a high number of road miles serving a large geographic area of somewhat low density and scattered development.
Identifying the functional classification of existing and proposed roads is important for day-to-day planning and engineering activities in at least two ways: (1) it defines the right-of-way that needs to be acquired or reserved for future roadway improvements and (2) it determines the spacing of access points onto the roadway. The functional classification, in combination with design standards for each of the roadway classes, also determines the improvements that are necessary to existing roads and how new roads should be designed and constructed. Table 5.1 summarizes the mileage of existing County roads.
Minor Arterials: Arterial streets provide for direct traffic movement from one central area to another. They frequently form boundaries for developments and provide access to abutting developments.
Major/Minor Collectors: Collector streets are the main
interior streets within and between the development areas. Their main functions
are to collect and distribute traffic from the local streets. Generally,
collector streets do not provide access to adjacent developments. Collector
street traffic typically has an origin or destination nearby.
|Table 5.1 Roadway Miles By Functional Classification.|
|Total County Roads
|Percentage of Total County Miles||Front Range Study Area Roads
|Percentage of Front Range Study Area Miles|
|Source: Draft Transportation Element,
Felsburg Holt & Ullevig, October 1996
(Does not include Schedule A Forest Service Roads which are maintained by the County).
Local Roads: The primary function of a local road is to provide access to adjacent land uses in the area. Local roads typically have lower travel speeds and through traffic is highly discouraged. However, this is not necessarily the case in some rural areas of the County where local roads provide inter-city travel with higher speeds.5.2).
The most commonly used measurement of traffic volume is Average Daily Traffic (ADT). ADT is defined as the total number of vehicles passing a certain point in both directions in a 24-hour period. Existing traffic volume data were compiled from two main sources, Larimer County Department of Public Works and Larimer County Planning Department. The data provided were collected over the last five years
Corridor levels of service were determined using the existing ADT volumes for various roadway segments. The County roads performing below a level of service C are County Road 17 within and between the Fort Collins and Loveland Urban Growth Areas and between Loveland and Berthoud, and County Road 19 in the Fort Collins Urban Growth Area.
TransFort currently provides fixed-route public transit in Fort Collins, oriented towards Colorado State University students and persons who are transit-dependent. . Commuter Pool provides carpool matching and vanpool services in Larimer and Weld Counties.
Paratransit services are oriented to the needs of persons who are elderly or who have disabilities. Providers include Dial-A-Ride and Senior Alternatives in Transportation provided in Fort Collins and Loveland, Extra Special People Transportation in Loveland and Berthoud Area Transit. Foothills-Gateway also provides a significant level of services for its clients, generally in the communities of Fort Collins, Loveland and Berthoud. Other areas of Larimer County have little or no service.
Inter-city bus service (TNM&O and Greyhound) is available in Larimer County. In addition to regular inter-city services, there is currently regular service to the Denver International Airport through Airport Express and Shamrock Taxi.
Larimer County participated in the 1996-2002 Transit Development Plan in 1995-96, which identifies improvements to transit services in Fort Collins, Loveland and Larimer County to help provide effective transit services in the region. The plan was developed through the North Front Range Regional Air Quality and Planning Council, the regional transportation planning organization for the Fort Collins-Loveland-Greeley urban area. The Transit Development Plan identifies how transit services can be improved to provide a viable alternative to automobile travel. Because each area is starting with a very different level of transit services and has different needs, the steps to improve services in each area are different.
In rural Larimer County, the mission is "To work together to provide public and specialized transit services which contribute to a balanced multi-modal transportation system in the county, which foster the economical social and environmental well-being of the area, and which are financially feasible."
Larimer County is in the process of developing a Transportation Plan based on existing conditions, projected land uses and expected growth and development in the region, and the principles and strategies of this Master Plan. The Transportation Plan will contain several parts, including:
The purpose of identifying potential mobility corridors is to reserve right-of-way in the development of land use planning for future roadway extensions and expansions to accommodate this concept. Therefore, as part of the future roadway network, it is essential that various mobility corridors be identified for future transportation needs. The following roadways have been identified by the PLUS Steering Committee and the Technical Advisory Group as potential mobility corridors:
|TR-1 The Larimer County transportation planning process shall complement
the development patterns and principles of the Master Plan.
TR-1-s1 The Functional Road Classification Map shall be used as the official future roadway plan for the County.
TR-1-s2 The Land Use Code shall establish roadway standards that enhance capacity and safety, improve air quality and aesthetics and implement the development patterns of the Land Use Framework Map.
TR-1-s3 County road projects shall be designed and constructed in a manner that minimizes the impact on water quality and sensitive environmental areas and considers aesthetics.
TR-2 New development shall occur only where existing transportation facilities are adequate or where necessary improvements will be made as part of the development project.
TR-2-s1 Adequate facilities and service levels for transportation shall be clearly defined in the Land Use Code. In Growth Management Areas, service level standards shall reflect those of the adjacent municipality. In other areas, standards shall be based on the density and intensity of the use.
TR-2-s2 The Land Use Code shall establish traffic impact requirements to identify the need for improvements created by future development in order to meet adopted level of service standards.
TR-3 New development shall pay its equitable share for necessary improvements to the County transportation system.
TR-3-s1 The Land Use Code shall require construction of improvements identified through a traffic impact study.
TR-3-s2 The Land Use Code shall include a traffic improvement fee to support other future improvements to the County transportation system made necessary by the impact of the development, including cumulative impacts.
TR-3-s3 The Land Use Code shall establish a mechanism to allow a party who initially funds an improvement to be reimbursed by future developments that also impact that facility.
TR-4 Larimer County shall encourage the development and use of alternative modes of transportation.
TR-4-s1 Larimer County will continue to participate in cooperative efforts with cities and counties in the region to develop a preferred transit system within Growth Management Areas and between cities and towns, consistent with the adopted Transit Development Plan.
TR-4-s2 Larimer County shall establish a bicycle plan that recognizes the need to serve both commuters and recreational users and that coordinates with the plans of adjoining cities and counties.
TR-4-s3 Larimer County shall support the regional Travel Demand Management (TDM) program by encouraging all major employers to adopt a TDM program and by adopting incentives for promoting use of alternative modes of transportation and for implementing telecommuting programs.
TR-4-s4 Larimer County shall continue to support the study and development of commuter rail service in the Northern Front Range.
TR-5 Larimer County shall establish a Capital Improvement Program for County transportation facilities.
TR-5-s1 The Capital Improvement Program shall identify a methodology for prioritizing projects which emphasizes the importance of maintaining the existing roadway system.
TR-5-s2 The Capital Improvement Plan for roadway maintenance and improvement shall consider consistency with the Master Plan as an element of project prioritization.
TR-5-s3 The Capital Improvement Program shall identify methods to share costs with adjacent cities and other governmental entities.
TR-5-s4 The Capital Improvement Program shall consider funding for alternative transportation mode projects including facilities for bicycles and transit.