Friday, April 28, 2017
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RTA okays initiative to look at improving bus stops on highway

Almont and Tall Texan top priorities

by Mark Reaman

Efforts to improve the current RTA (Gunnison Valley Transportation Authority) “flag stops” along the Highway 135 bus route between Crested Butte and Gunnison will begin in earnest this year and could see upgrades in  2018 to at least a couple of heavily used stops.

While there are formalized bus stops in Gunnison, Crested Butte South, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte, passengers can currently flag down the RTA bus at designated locations along the highway. Some safety issues have been voiced and RTA executive director Scott Truex said organization finances could have them in a position to address those issues.

“We could have some capital to put into bus stop improvements and I would like to begin the process with CDOT [Colorado Department of Transportation] that oversees the highway,” Truex said. “It is very expensive to do but I would like to start with the stops in Almont and by the Tall Texan campground north of Gunnison. I think we could do them in 2018. Maintaining those new stops would have to be considered as well and will have to be part of the budget.”

The board heard from Riverwalk subdivision property association representative Brian Tutor on March 10. Riverwalk is located across from the Tall Texan and Tutor said given the snowy winter, safety issues had become more of a concern. He said passengers were in danger while getting on and off the bus at that location as vehicles passed the stopped RTA bus. It was also difficult for cars leaving the subdivision to see traffic flows while the bus was stopped.

“We have a new developer with the property so we expect to see more people in that spot,” Tutor explained. “We aren’t there yet but when the subdivision gets to 20 houses there is a requirement for accel/decel lanes. It is becoming more and more of a hazard where people wait for the bus and where the bus stops and people are concerned there will be a pedestrian accident at some point.”

Truex told Tutor that improving that flag stop was one of the top priorities in the RTA bus strategic plan. He said he would work with Tutor, the new developer and CDOT to come up with short-term and long-term solutions to the situation

The RTA board gave Truex the go-ahead to contact CDOT and begin discussions on how best to proceed with improving the highway bus stops.

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