Fort Collins Has Itself to Blame for Summer Traffic Problems (Opinion)
Planning is key. No matter what job you are in, if you don't plan correctly than success will be hard to achieve. Maybe the city of Fort Collins should think of that.
Over the years, traffic throughout the entire region of Northern Colorado has become increasingly difficult to navigate through. We can all attribute this to how much the population of the region has grown over a short period of time.
But is that the exact reason of why driving through the city of Fort Collins has become such a chore, that I'd rather stay at home instead of trying to venture to the many great festivals and businesses the area has to offer?
While that plays a small part in the increase of steering wheel frustration, I can tell you what plays an even bigger part.
THE AMOUNT OF CONSTRUCTION THE CITY WENT AHEAD AND DID AT THE SAME TIME.
This is not to say that the construction that has been going on wasn't needed. But what I am saying is that with the city deciding to simultaneously do this construction, it has caused headaches that didn't need to occur.
And this weekend, with the Colorado State University move-in day occurring, is a prime example of how the city blundered by not getting all it's projects done earlier...or at least started some later.
In a recent story in the Coloradoan, they described the issues that will ensue throughout the city as students move onto campus this weekend. Key points from the article include:
- Prospect Road is pretty much unusable from interstate 25 to South College Avenue. There are also construction issues on Prospect from College to Shields because of construction
- NB College Avenue is down to one lane from Garfield to Laurel because of construction
So what are the best options for incoming CSU students to get to the school? Travelling down Harmony Road or Mulberry.
Yes, you read that right. The only other two main roadways from I-25 will be gridlocked at the end of this week as well. You know, the two roadways that all summer long have been at a standstill, and that is without the college students moving in. Now, because of the cities lack of planning, we get to sit in even more traffic this weekend.
The city tells the Coloradoan that they are asking residents to just have patience, and to give yourself an extra 5-10 minutes to get where you are going.
Here's the problem: I've done that. We've all done that. And I can't think of a city that has had more patience than what we have all experienced over the summer of 2016. But at some point your patience runs thin. After talking to many residents, when you combine the construction in Fort Collins along with the constant traffic on the interstate, patience has hit a boiling point.
I think all of us, me included, just want closure...and want to not have to think about giving ourselves an extra "5-10" minutes to get to our final point. We've done that, and we keep getting stuck in longer than normal issues.
The city reassures us that the closure for construction is slowly coming to an end, as the paving of southbound College Avenue is near completion. But that's just one piece of the puzzle.
How about the rest?
Signs like the one you see above have become too commonplace throughout Northern Colorado and Fort Collins. And the sad part is, it will be never ending. These projects will end, and the city will move onto something else that will make our driving more of a living hell.
So here's my proposal to the city of Fort Collins...
There is no question that the construction has been needed in some parts of the city.
But let's be better at planning out when these projects should be started, and when they should be coming to an end. Our city is MUCH better than the traffic fiasco we showed residents and visitors this entire season. We truly are the best region throughout the entire country. Why can't our planning skills match up to what the rest of the city offers?
And for Colorado State University students...welcome home. It's good to have you back in our city. And just remember what I believe should be the new motto of our great area...
"FORT COLLINS: A CITY WHERE YOU CAN PLAY CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY IN YOUR CAR WHILE WAITING FOR TRAFFIC AND TRAINS"
Has a good ring to it, doesn't it?