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The Loop is not a 'done deal'. There are a dozen reasons that could kill this project, the number one being the lack of public support which has gone unmeasured formally, or informally. To date, Estes Park trustees have ignored demands for a public vote, and slowly the trustees have been voted out. Now is the time to make a difference and 'Kill the Loop'.
What is, 'the loop' project?
-- Cost in dollars: $17 million (13: FLAP; 4: CDOT)
-- Reversible? Nope. once the new highway is in, it's in.
-- Other congestion relief has not been attempted
-- National Park is not participating in the project
-- Planning for the future of downtown has been offered after this project moves forward
It's not an optional bypass, you will not be able to drive though downtown in an Easterly fashion. Business owners are concerned that the charming attraction of Downtown Estes will change forever; visitors are outraged that 'downtown' is the reason they are driving through Estes Park. Locals are beside themselves that now for the entire year we'll be doing counterclockwise loops to navigate through our own community, for the benefit of 'better access to the national park'. Shouldn't the Town Leaders be protecting us from this kind of change to our community? We hope they do.
proposed ALTERNATIVES to alleviate traffic issues
Hiring Summer Police Officers trained to manage traffic in real time and eliminate congestion, increase pedestrian safety, serve as ambassadors for our community to tens of thousands of people every day UPDATE: Summer officers on the job in 2016 are making a positive difference in congestion with real time traffic management 2018 Update: Summer officers this year are having the least impact on traffic, ever. Every day this staff is standing on the curb, chatting in pairs, missing or ignoring opportunities to streamline traffic flow. Story and video coming soon.
Optimize traffic signals to be coordinated and move cars through efficiently when the summer officers aren't on duty. Update: The 'Barnes Dance' crossing cycle is in use during the summer of 2016 (an 'All Walk' pedestrian cycle followed by vehicles only, the 2 don't mix) 2018 Update: traffic signals are regular and predictable. Traffic is moving!
Reconsider horse carriages being allowed into an area of town with such concerning traffic issues Update: Haven't seen a horse carriage in 2016, drivers rejoicing 2018 Update: No sign of horse carriages downtown, thank you whoever is responsible for the lack thereof.
Restripe and sign 34/36 intersection to permit traffic to use the 34 bypass to access the park instead of historic downtown Update: Some restriping and resignage has been installed that identify the Fall River Park Entrance.
Update highway signs to accurately show routes to historic downtown / North park entrance/ South park entrance Update: Mid July 2016 new brown park signs installed before 34/36 intersection are having a positive effect on downtown congestion. 2018 Update: Permanent metal highway signs have been tweaked, and seem to be doing a good job providing drivers with options to get to the park ahead of the intersections.
Consider intelligent message boards to give real time travel data. 2018 Update: FOUR electronic message signs have been added to the highway landscape, with the promise of real-time traffic helps. So far, they are an eyesore that *F*L*A*S*H* messages in front of the most beautiful mountain range God created, while displaying information that is already known. Story and pictures coming soon.
why is the loop bad for estes park?
#1: The original purpose of the grant is false
The FLAP grant was originally submitted to make a vehicle trip to Rocky Mtn National Park faster and easier; RMNP is full, and is having trouble handling all of the vehicles that the current road system delivers.
#2: There is no 'big picture' plan for downtown Estes Park
Building The Loop now will force any downtown planning to be formulated around the new highway system without any forethought with regard to the character and identity of our town and every other related issue (bikes, people, character, one way streets, etc etc)
#3: Building The Loop will change the character of downtown forever by constructing a new eastbound highway over the East Riverside neighborhood, and expanding downtown to the East. CDOT will become the new owner of this new highway once they 'acquire' homes, businesses and park land. The "character" that is often overlooked and hard to quantify is the main reason millions of visitors return to the community each year. Adding modern street conveniences, round a bouts and other Everywhere USA development will strip the character that Estes Park has built for decades. One way streets alone stand to crush that character and are despised in other communities that have tried them- who are trying to come back to 2 way streets.
#4: The process is rife with lost public comments, misleading options, changing objectives, uninformed Trustees and misinformed public. The issue has created a painful division in the community among citizens with a sliver of information, well informed Estes Park (No Loop) defenders, and Estes Park Trustees and government agencies (Colorado Dept of Transportation (CDOT) and Central Federal Lands (CFL)) that want to do 'what is right for Estes Park' in their sole opinion without a public vote and at any cost. Every day the project advances costs this community more money and heartache for everyone including visitors. The Trustees are brazenly avoiding the opportunity to take a public vote, despite their roles as representatives of the people. Without the support of the community, the project is doomed- and just costs more and more each day that it is pressed on.
moving forward, what to do?
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Here's the latest news on 'The Loop'- new posts at the top, start at the bottom for some good readin':
You can help:
Fox News 31 Anchor Jeremy Hubbard:
"One thing we can all agree on is we don't want Estes Park to lose it's charm."
Town Administrator Frank Lancaster:
"We're a hundred year old town, and when you're putting in new roads, sometimes things have to be... moved."
Loop project news articles and updates have moved to their own page: