Summit Cove Loop Public Feedback

Summit County welcomes public feedback on the Summit Cove Loop Project, through which we will install bicycle/pedestrian lanes in both directions along Summit Drive and Cove Boulevard and conduct repair work on adjoining side roads.

Below is a list of topics, issues and design details about which we’ve received questions, ideas and feedback, along with our current thoughts on how we plan to incorporate the input we’ve received. If you have questions or additional comments about the project, contact Summit County Planners Don Reimer (970-668-4207, ) or Kate Berg (970-668-4204, ).

For an overview of the entire project, see the Summit Cove Loop Project page.


General Comments


Need for the Project: Over the past several years, we have received a number of comments from Summit Cove residents concerning vehicle speeds, road conditions and pedestrian safety. The Summit County Walkability Study provided additional insight on how to improve pedestrian safety in the neighborhood. And the Snake River Master Plan adopted in 2010 identified this project as a key improvement as the county develops. While no project will satisfy everyone’s desires, we believe the Summit Cove Loop Project addresses several goals and will make Summit Cove a safer, healthier neighborhood.

Other Neighborhood Roads: We received several comments related to the condition of side roads connecting to Summit Drive and Cove Boulevard. As a result, Summit County has committed to repairing those streets concurrently with the bicycle/pedestrian lanes installation along the loop.

Project Funding: The Summit Cove Loop Project will be funded through the existing Summit County Road and Bridge Fund. There will be no special assessments, local improvement districts, public improvement districts or tax increases of any kind for Summit Cove property owners to fund the project.

Project Phasing: Phase 1 of the project, completed in September 2015, included Summit Drive and repairs to five adjoining roads - Idlewild Drive, Vail Circle, Meadow Drive, Glacier Court and Hideaway Court. We have not yet determined the schedule for future phases. Considerations include coordination with the school district, Summit Stage and water and sewer districts, and estimates for repair of side roads. Stay tuned for more details.

Project Scope: Based on public input received, the County is evaluating expansion of the project scope to add bicycle/pedestrian lanes along Royal Coachman Boulevard and other high-volume roads in the neighborhood, as the project budget allows.


Bicycle/Pedestrian Lanes


Uses: The on-street bicycle/pedestrian lanes in the Summit Cove Loop will be available to all modes of non-motorized travel, just like the Summit County RecPath system. As with the RecPath, we depend on all users (e.g., bicyclists, runners, walkers, dog owners) to enjoy the system responsibly, with consideration for one another. The new lanes will feature pavement markings indicating that they are available for use by both bicyclists and pedestrians.

Why On-Street Lanes: Several residents asked why the County is proposing to add bicycle/pedestrian lanes on-street, rather than using existing RecPath and greenbelt trails. The goal of the project is to provide year-round routes for pedestrians and bicyclists. So, unlike the RecPath and greenbelt trails, the new bicycle/pedestrian lanes will be plowed regularly to keep them clear of snow. Also, the greenbelt is located within the floodplain and is thus under water for part of the year.


Vehicle Lanes


Lane Width: The vehicle lanes on Summit Drive and Cove Boulevard will be about 10 feet wide in most spots (typical for residential neighborhoods), and 11 feet wide in the entry section of Cove Boulevard. For comparison, 12 feet is the standard width for interstate highway lanes, and some local roads have vehicle lanes as narrow as 8 feet.

Center Lines: We are not planning any centerline striping. Striping will be limited to delineation of the bicycle/pedestrian lanes and to intersections and turn lanes where a potential conflict or safety issue exists.

School Buses: School buses will continue to stop in the drive lanes, as they do now. We do not anticipate that the project will impact school bus operations.


Traffic Calming


Summit County is incorporating a number of features, including narrower vehicle lane widths, that are designed to reduce vehicle speeds, especially in areas where high speeds are most concerning, including the school zone on Cove Boulevard.

Stop Signs and Other Signage: Summit County uses the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), which contains guidelines for locations of stop signs based on traffic and other factors. As part of the project, we have reviewed the intersections along Summit Drive to determine the locations at which stop signs are appropriate, and we have removed the stop signs from Summit Drive at its northern intersection with Vail Circle and its intersection with Stoner Drive. The County’s philosophy is to use the minimum signage necessary for safety to minimize visual clutter. Stop signs are typically not effective as speed-control devices.

Speed Bumps: Speed bumps will not be included in the design, as they create problems for Summit County snow removal operations. They can also be a nuisance for adjacent neighbors. We may consider rumble strips, but only in isolated areas, where there are potential conflicts or safety issues. Rumble strips will not be installed on Summit Drive.

Speed Limits: We expect that as a result of this project, people will drive more slowly along these roads. As part of the project, we will review speed limit signage along the loop to ensure that the posted speed limits are appropriate. Electronic speed limit signs may be an option in certain areas. It is important to note that state statutes establish speed limits for each of the various types of roads. A different speed limit may not be set for a given road unless a traffic engineering study is conducted that indicates a need for the change.


Lighting


Summit County isn’t proposing to add new street lights at this time. We will install delineators or reflectors at key locations as needed.


Mailboxes


At the end of Phase 1 construction (summer 2015), Summit County installed new mailboxes and posts at all affected residences. The new mailboxes comply with Summit County Road & Bridge standards. The boxes rotate safely out of the way upon impact with a snowplow or other vehicle and then automatically return back to the center position.

A homeowner may install his or her own mailbox, as long as it meets Summit County minimum standards, described in detail in Chapter 5, Section 5106.06 (and illustrated in Figure 5-10, shown below) of the Summit County Land Use and Development Code.


Mailbox Figure 5-10.jpg

Driveways, Culverts and Landscaping


Landscaping: Because improvements will occur only within the existing road bench (edge of shoulder to edge of opposite shoulder), we expect little to no impacts to existing trees, landscaping or driveway culverts. Within public rights-of-way, our policy is to not install landscaping other than native grasses because of maintenance and snow storage issues. Homeowners are welcome to contact the Summit County Road & Bridge Department at 970-668-3590 to inquire about landscaping permitted in County rights of way.

Driveways: The contractors will construct all driveway tie-ins required to connect with the new roadway surface, and will coordinate with residents on these connections. In a few cases, a driveway configuration may have to be adjusted at the tie-in location. County staff will contact these property owners directly to coordinate the change.


Design: Section A


Section A includes Cove Boulevard, from the intersection of Swan Mountain Road to the intersection of Royal Coachman. It also includes the short stretch of Swan Mountain Road between the Summit Cove entrance and the intersection with Highway 6. Because this section has higher traffic volumes and speeds, the majority of this section will include a striped buffer area ranging from 1.5 to 3 feet, separating the vehicle and bicycle/pedestrian lanes.

Medians: The existing medians and vegetation on Cove Boulevard can impact visibility near the intersections and bus stop. Depending on the final design of the bus stop and these intersections, the medians may be lowered or otherwise altered to improve visibility.

Summit Stage Bus Stop: The bus stop is one of the biggest design challenges of the Summit Cove Loop Project. We would like to improve the geometry to reduce conflicts between buses, pedestrians, cyclists and private vehicles. This will require some minor modifications to the existing bus stop and sidewalk located within an existing easement on private property. The County will be working with the property owner to adjust these improvements as needed to improve safety.

Sunlight-Climax-Cove Intersection: As part of the project, we will establish a formal intersection at this location, which is currently restricted to emergency vehicles only. Designs are not yet complete. Based on public comments received, we will provide a pedestrian connection to the bicycle/pedestrian lanes on Cove Boulevard, and connections to the adjacent soft surface trailheads and RecPath entrances in this location.

Curve Near Wastewater Treatment Plant: Based on public comments received, we are exploring design solutions that will slow vehicle speeds prior to entering this curve and improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists (e.g., striping, signage, slight banking, rumble strips, buffering between vehicle lanes and bicycle/pedestrian lanes, etc.).

Causeway Bridge: We are investigating design and guardrail options that would make the road surface wider to better accommodate new bicycle/pedestrian lanes in both directions. Installing the bicycle/pedestrian lanes on one side only would be problematic, as it would cause bicycles and pedestrians to cross the road in a location where visibility is already limited by curves and grade changes. At this point, the likely scenario is a minor widening of the bridge, with buffered bicycle/pedestrian lanes on both sides of the causeway.

Bicycle/Pedestrian Lanes on Swan Mountain Road: We are exploring adding bicycle/pedestrian lanes along Swan Mountain Road, between the Highwy 6 RecPath intersection and the RecPath connection near the wastewater treatment plant.


Design: Section B


Section B includes Cove Boulevard, from the intersection of Royal Coachman to the south end of the school zone at Summit Cove Elementary, and is dominated by the school zone. We are working closely with Summit School District on the design of this section in order to improve safety and traffic flow for all modes of travel. Because of the narrow right-of-way, multiple uses and high concentrations of pedestrian and vehicle traffic during school pickup and drop-off, the school zone presents many design challenges and is most important for us to get right.

School Zone Parking: We will continue to work with Summit School District on options to improve pickups, drop-offs and event parking in the school zone, while accommodating through-traffic by bicycles and vehicles.

Shane Court Intersection: We are continuing to explore design elements at this intersection that will improve visibility and better facilitate pedestrian and bicycle crossings.


Design: Section C


Section C includes the entire length of Summit Drive. Because Summit Drive has a residential neighborhood character with many individual driveways and side road connections, the design of this section does not include striped buffers between the vehicle lanes and the bicycle/pedestrian lanes. Rather, the lanes are delineated with a single white line. Rumble strips and speed bumps are not used in this section.

This section was constructed as Phase 1 of the project, during summer of 2015. Phase 1 also included road repair work on Idlewild Drive, Vail Circle, Meadow Drive, Glacier Court and Hideaway Court.