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Sep 08

[ARCHIVED] South Pierce Street Roadway Improvements, Littleton, CO 80123

The original item was published from February 7, 2023 4:28 PM to October 6, 2023 10:47 AM

South Pierce Street Corridor Improvement Open House:

Jefferson County Transportation and Engineering held an open house on August 9 at the Columbine High School library to provide information on the South Pierce Street Roadway Improvement design. The county appreciated all the feedback received from the public during the open house. The main concerns Jefferson County received from multiple residents are the following: 

  • safety due to the U-turn movement made by northbound students leaving the Columbine High School southern parking lot
  • removal of the existing pedestrian crossing location at Leawood Drive
  • installation of a school speed zone along South Pierce Street adjacent to Columbine High School

The county completed a traffic study with data collected in May 2022 (while school was in session) for the South Pierce Street corridor from West Bowles Avenue to West Coal Mine Avenue. The data included vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian counts during the a.m. peak hour, school dismissal hour, and p.m. peak hour. The data also observed the U-turn movement at West Polk Avenue / West Caley Place. Below is information about how Jefferson County conducted the analysis and proposed changes:

  • Allowing U-turns on South Pierce Street at West Polk Avenue / West Caley Place – The county proposes installation of a raised median at the southern student parking lot to restrict left turns due to limited sight distance. Drivers traveling north will still be allowed to turn south out of the parking lot and complete a U-turn at West Polk Avenue / West Caley Place. The intersection provides adequate sight distance and roadway width for the turning movement to be performed safely. Crash data shows that there have not been any reported crashes involving U-turn movements at this intersection in the past 10 years. Continuing to permit the U-turn movement provides an operational benefit for approximately 70 drivers exiting the parking lot each afternoon and data does not show that this movement is causing a safety concern. The county will monitor the intersection for 12 months post-construction and reevaluate to determine if the U-turn movement is still functioning safely with South Pierce Street’s new design.
  • Revising the existing pedestrian crossing location at Leawood Drive – The existing pedestrian crossing of South Pierce Street will remain at West Leawood Drive, but it will be shifted slightly to the south. The revised pedestrian crossing will include installation of a raised median and rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFB) on each side of the roadway and within the new center median. 
  • School Speed Zone – It is the county’s practice not to create school speed zones around high schools. Jefferson County reserves school speed zones for use around elementary and middle schools, where there are higher volumes of younger children walking or biking to school. Many of this project’s design changes will increase the safety for all roadway users by including new medians, enhanced crosswalks, and bike lanes.

Project Background:

Jefferson County had an engineering consultant conduct a traffic study along South Pierce Street from West Bowles Avenue to West Coal Mine Avenue in August 2022. The traffic study collected data on existing traffic volumes, level of service provided by the roadway, and recommendations to improve the corridor along South Pierce Street. The county seeks to implement recommendations received from the traffic study. The recommendations included modifications to the existing span wire traffic signal intersections, improvements to the pedestrian and bicycle routes, and modifying access points to the high school.

Link to South Pierce Street project limits map.Project Scope:

The project limits are from West Bowles Avenue to West Coal Mine Avenue along South Pierce Street, with improvements to the following intersections:

  • West Bowles Avenue
  • West Fair Drive
  • West Weaver Avenue / West Walker Avenue
  • West Coal Mine Avenue

The project is not a full roadway reconstruction project, but a roadway improvement project with modifications to the existing corridor. These modifications include:

  • installation of raised medians
  • sidewalk
  • replacement of curb ramps
  • restriping and signing of the roadway
  • installation of storm sewer inlets on the east side of South Pierce Street
  • improve the intersection and traffic signals
  • add a pedestrian crossing with rapid flashing beacons
  • add bike lanes with restriping of the roadway

Project Schedule:

The project will be within the preliminary design phase during the spring of 2023. The county will conduct public meetings to provide information and gather feedback in the Summer of 2023. The final design and bidding of the project for construction will occur in late fall of 2023. Construction of the project is anticipated for spring of 2024.

Project Impacts on Traffic:

The impacts to traffic will be fully known as design progresses. At a minimum, the county will require the contractor to keep a single lane of travel in both directions during construction and will work to minimize construction impacts during school traffic hours.