In June 2016 City Traffic Engineer Kathleen Krager tried to rush a lane reduction proposal through the City’s approval process before residents could review the proposal and voice their concerns and objections. Fortunately many of you took an active interest, showed up to the Planning Commission Meeting, and were instrumental in getting a 6-2 vote against Krager’s proposal.
Since then Krager has offered no new and improved reasons to narrow our roads, instead rehashing the same worn out excuse about pedestrian safety she claimed in 2016. (Recall Krager claimed she must hurriedly narrow the roads as a matter of life and death. In the year and a half since that hyperbolic statement, how many people have died because Krager wasn’t able to push her proposal through?)
But of course the lack of data or sound reasoning won’t stop Krager from once again trying to force her vision onto everyone. On January 30, 2018, Principal Transportation Planner Tim Roberts sent an email out on Krager’s behalf informing us that she is going to take away lanes on Cascade Avenue, Weber Street, and Fontanero Street.
The email also promised to remove Colorado College’s four flashing light crosswalks and replace them with two standard crosswalks. Note Krager had admitted as far back as 2013 and again in 2016 that the flashing light crosswalks make pedestrians “feel too safe” and give them “a false sense of security,” such that they don’t look when crossing the road. Yet here we are, 2018, and the irksome crosswalks remain. (Remember that track record when Krager promises she will revert our roads to their original setup if her lane reduction plan proves counterproductive.)
Removing these poorly designed crosswalks will make pedestrians safer, but now Krager acts as if the opposite is true. She implies pedestrians are going to be less safe and uses that false implication to justify lane reduction. In her January 30th email she states, “given changes to crosswalks at Colorado College, reducing Cascade Avenue to one travel lane will improve pedestrian safety.”
This is an amazing assertion. As our analysis quite clearly showed last time Krager picked this fight, reducing Cascade to one lane may have prevented literally one single pedestrian-vehicle collision over the course of 12 years. That is one collision out of at least 1.6 million pedestrian crossings at Cascade avenue. There is just no evidence of a pressing safety concern to justify taking our lanes.