Last updated 12:28PM ET
December 17, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Public Speaks Out on Florida Road Bond Issue
(2008-05-30)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: Citizens of all ages attended the public meeting last night to discuss and ask questions about roadways in Durango and possible safety improvements throughout the city.

KSUT's Sarah Baumgartner reports.

MADELINE BURNS: I WOULD LIKE TO GET ACROSS THE ROAD ACROSS FLORIDA TO SCHOOL SAFELY.
That's 6 year-old Madeline Burns, a student at Riverview Elementary School.
She came to the public meeting last night with her father Andy, to express concerns about improvements that she feels need to be made on Florida road.
Madeline is not alone her concerns. Several local and state organizations have been outspoken about safety issues for pedestrians and bicyclists on city streets.
Included in those groups are Trails 2000, Healthy Lifestyles of La Plata County, Bicycle Colorado, Safe Roads Coalition and the 9-R School District.
The city of Durango has identified 5 major projects that need improvements within city limits with a primary focus on Florida Road.
An estimated $14.5 million bond issue for a face-lift of Florida Road is what prodded this public meeting.
Gregg Boysen is the city's engineer. He addressed the public's questions and comments and took away some new insights for himself and city staff.
GREGG BOYSEN: I GAINED TWO OR THREE DESIGN CONCEPTS THAT WE REALLY HADN'T LOOKED AT. AND THAT'S WHY WE WANT TO HAVE THESE PUBLIC MEETINGS TO HEAR THE PEOPLE THAT ACTUALLY USE THE ROAD AND LIVE NEXT TO IT HOW THEY FEEL AND WHAT THEY THINK WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA.
Some of the new ideas that were brought up included issues on landscape, stop signs, crosswalks, traffic signals, historical concerns and making Florida road aesthetically pleasing.
I had a chance to catch up with Kevin and Patsy Ford who live off of Florida Road. They're number one concern is safety, but they too gained some knowledge from the audience.
KEVIN FORD: AND THE LADY WHO HAD THE IDEA ON THE COMPLETE STREETS CONCEPT WITH THE MEDIAN. I MEAN GETTING OFF THE CONCEPT THAT IT'S FLORIDA HIGHWAY AND IT'S FLORIDA ROAD AND COUPLING IT MORE WITH 3RD AVE THAT YOU'RE IN TOWN SLOW DOWN. YOU KNOW WE CAN HANDLE VOLUME, BUT WE NEED TO SLOW IT DOWN AND MAKE THINGS MORE SAFE.
Ben Peterson resides on Florida Road. As an avid cyclist, Peterson had his own suggestion that excited Boysen.
BEN PETERSON: PUTTING A BRIDGE TOWARDS THE NEW LIBRARY OFF OF FLORIDA SO YOU WOULDN'T EVEN HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT CRAZY INTERSECTION ON 3RD AVENUE AND 15TH STREET.
But with all these ideas floating around, the issue remains how does the city fund such a project? Boysen elucidates.
BOYSEN: THE 2A BOND WAS PASSED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW LIBRARY IN ADDITION TO SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS TO PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS. THE LIBRARY IS NEARING CONSTRUCTION AND WE CAN TELL FROM THE AMOUNT OF REVENUE THAT WE'RE GAINING ON THE 2A BOND THAT THERE IS SOME ADDITIONAL FUNDING TO BE SPENT ON THE BOND FOR FLORIDA ROAD. SO 2A CAN SUPPORT TWO BONDS, ONE FOR THE LIBRARY AND ONE FOR THESE ROAD IMPROVEMENTS.
Boysen also says that if this bond issues passes, taxes will not be increased.
Due to a high demand in oil, construction costs may shoot up anywhere from 9-10% annually.
If the voters pass the bond in November, some of the projects will start as early as the spring of 2009.
But the next step in the process will be to hold individual neighborhood meetings to address specific concerns and how the project may effect nearby neighborhoods.
The neighborhood meetings are expected to be held in the coming weeks.
BOYSEN: EVERYBODY HERE WAS IN FAVOR OF THE PROJECTS AND LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING SOMETHING DONE.

From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Sarah Baumgartner.
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