Many of you may be aware that CDOT is planning to add express toll lanes to the C-470 highway through Douglas County and a small section of Jefferson County east of Wadsworth Boulevard. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2016.
This expansion of the freeway will have a profound effect on the enjoyment of riding the existing bikeway parallel to the widened section. Both noise and air pollution will be increased.
As part of the preparation for the project, CDOT has carried out a study to determine the noise impact of the project to residences and other places along the route – including bike trails. Mitigation (e.g. walls or berms) will be considered where the noise impact will increase by 10 decibels or the resulting noise level will exceed 66 decibels. While the full report has not yet been published, analysis maps of the noise impact on nearby residences have been made public. See meeting boards.
These show that the noise impact exceeds the mitigation threshold in a number of places and a sound wall is recommended for some locations. In the majority of the locations where a wall is recommended, the bikeway is INSIDE the wall, i.e. closer to the widened freeway. This will magnify both the increased noise and air pollution to bikeway users.
CDOT has estimated projected noise levels at ‘receptor points’ along the bikeway and at other nearby facilities but has not published them. Bike Jeffco is asking for these to be made available.
Please support Bike Jeffco’s efforts by expressing your concerns about the project and asking for the noise impact results for the bikeway be released as soon as possible. Send your email to the CDOT project director Jerome Estes before March 13th with a copy to me.
The levels of estimated increased air pollution close to the widened freeway have not yet been published.
This bikeway forms a key part of our metro wide network both for recreational and commuting riders. It is one section of the 60 mile Platte/C-470/E-470/Cherry Creek all trail loop.
In contrast to widening the C-470 freeway, the Colorado Public Interest Research group is reporting that the national driving boom is over. In particular, the millennial generation is driving less and using alternative modes such as cycling and transit much more. COPIRG’s Danny Katz will present the details of this major change at our meeting this coming Tuesday, March 10th.
In other news, Bike Jeffco is working to improve bike access to and bike storage at stations on the new Gold and North West rail lines scheduled to open in 2016 to connect Arvada, Westminster and Wheat Ridge with Denver Union station. All the new trains will have platform level access and proper storage for bicycles – avoiding the gymnastic requirements and space limitations of using the current light rail trains with a bicycle.
Lots more to talk about at our meeting:
Tuesday March 10th 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Jefferson County Government Center, Golden, Rooms 1566/1567
See you there!
n Dave Evans