A small town of little more than one square mile in the southeast Denver metro area has a solution for cut-through traffic: Don't let it in.
“The town has attempted to mitigate traffic through decreased speed limit, increased fines and off-duty sheriff presence with little success,” Foxfield officials said in a joint statement.
Foxfield — which sits along East Arapahoe and South Parker roads — moved closer this year to building two gates to combat traffic that cuts through the town.
The City of Centennial and some patches of Aurora immediately surround much of Foxfield, whose small-town structure presents unique challenges: Its population is roughly 800, but it's located at the southeast corner of one of the largest intersections in the suburban metro area.
“We have also had traffic engineers and experts assess the traffic problem. Also, Foxfield does not have sidewalks, making large volumes of cut-through traffic and speeding dangerous to our residents,” said the statement from Town Administrator Karen Proctor, Clerk Randi Gallivan and Mayor Lisa Jones.
During rush hour, the traffic gates would restrict access to and from Parker Road at East Fremont Avenue, and to and from East Jamison Avenue on South Richfield Street.
On April 30, Centennial was notified about the plan, and the city has many logistical concerns, according to Jeff Dankenbring, Centennial's public works director.
“There does not appear to be enough room for motorists to turn around before the gates, if needed, especially for longer vehicles (such as) buses, delivery trucks,” Dankenbring said. “Will traffic queues develop at the gate locations, and can the queues back up onto Parker Road? This would be a serious safety concern.”
The city recommends a traffic impact study be provided and questions how the plan would affect traffic circulation in Centennial, Dankenbring said. It's likely the city will need to work with Foxfield as the plan unfolds.
“Constructing the traffic gates will have an impact on the adjacent Centennial neighborhoods as well as altering Centennial Public Works' ability to maintain our streets affected by the traffic gates such as South Richfield Street, so additional collaboration would be required between the two municipalities,” Dankenbring said.
Foxfield's initial discussions envision that the gates would be closed during morning and evening rush hour, and only residents would have access to pass through during those times, according to Foxfield. The plans have not been finalized, though.
The idea for a toll system was suggested and looked into, but there are no plans for such a system, the town said.
Mitigation has been a major concern since the town has seen dramatic increase in cut-through traffic, starting with the construction of the new Parker and Arapahoe interchange in recent years, according to Foxfield.
“Gating has been one of the proposed solutions for several years. In May 2018, a traffic committee consisting of residents was formed to explore various suggestions for traffic mitigation,” the town said. “This committee explored several potential solutions and presented their findings and recommendation for the traffic control gates to the (town) board of trustees on Oct. 18, 2018.”
Final drawings were approved in July 2019. Plans were shared with Centennial and the Colorado Department of Transportation, or CDOT, for their comments, according to the town.
Requests for proposals for work on the project were put out in August and again in September. Foxfield does not have any contracts yet in place, the town said, so it's unclear when the gates could be completed.
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