Avon, CO – The west entrance to the Avon Post Office was reopened on September 22 in response to citizen feedback through email and public outreach meetings. Over the last two weeks, the Town has been conducting tours and public meetings as part of the Beaver Creek Boulevard Redesign Project for the purpose of seeking greater civic engagement from stakeholders prior to final design work. The temporary street striping and post office entrance closure was part of a larger test for the Boulevard, which is being redesigned to see widened sidewalks, additional on-street parking, narrowed travel lanes, and landscaping improvements.
According to Mayor Jennie Fancher, “The Town felt strongly that the proposed new street design should be tested prior to actual construction. The objective of increasing walkability changes the vehicular patterns that have been in place for decades and it was expected that the changes would be impactful. We are learning much about the design, including what is working and what is not. Of particular note is the test to close one of the entrances to the Post Office, this change was found overwhelmingly to be unsatisfactory. As a result of the feedback, the entrance was reopened yesterday and parking spaces were realigned back to parallel parking. We will now monitor how that change is received.”
The Town’s consultants from Design Workshop are currently aggregating all comments, considering additional design options, and evaluating how to distribute an online questionnaire. The overall goal of the redesign project is to create a more walkable and bicycle friendly street, which reduces vehicular speeds, provides for on-street parking, adds beautification elements and builds an important urban space in the Town core. Additional public meetings will be set once the work is completed.
The Town will also be updating its cost estimate for the proposed improvements. A $2.5 million dollar budget “placeholder” in the Capital Projects Fund has been recommended for 2017 funding. Repaving of the Boulevard represents $750,000 of the cost, with new landscaping and infrastructure changes programmed in the cost, which will improve drainage, expand sidewalks and provide new curb sections. The estimate reflects the full project costs for the entire Boulevard based upon other recent street and paved trail costs in Avon. The Metcalf Road overlay and expanded bike climbing lane cost $1.1 million this past summer. The last segment of the regional trail, currently under construction is $2.5 million. Completed in 2015, Avon Road and Post Boulevard paving and/or landscaping improvements, and Main Street Mall construction totaled $2.4 million. Road and street investments are the largest component of the Capital Projects Fund, with $11,700,000 in completed or planned expenditures for 2015 – 2021. The projects are determined through the Town Council’s adopted Strategic Plan and Five-Year Capital Improvements Program. Monies for the projects come from General Fund surplus transfers, grants and real estate transfer taxes.
The Town Council will continue to take public input through the design process at scheduled meetings and through emails, which may be sent to Town Clerk Debbie Hoppe at firstname.lastname@example.org.