Road work season is upon us, and one of the projects that will be tackled this summer in Fort Collins is improvements to the Timberline/Prospect intersection. There will also be some needed updates to Timberline road between Blackbird Dr. to the south and the back entrance to Sutherlands on the north.
These improvements are all being paid for through Building on Basics. (According to the City website, the funds are coming from the first round of BOB, not the second that we more recently voted in.) Building on Basics is a quarter-cent sales and use tax, which means that this project is being paid for by anyone that shops within the City limits, regardless of what type of transportation they use.
As with most road improvements, the goals of the project revolve around safety, efficiency (for all forms of transportation), and improving air quality (by having cars sit around idling less and by making it easier to use other forms of transport). There will also be some added landscaping amenities and two of the metal silos along the train tracks will be deconstructed and rebuilt at the new Southeast Community Park. (There are five silos there now. Three will remain in place.)
The changes to the intersection include substantial improvements for pedestrians. With multiple turn lanes and two through lanes in each direction, pedestrians have quite a ways to walk from one corner to the other. There’s currently a pork chop (pedestrian island) near the southeast corner of the intersection, but that is currently the only safety feature in place for peds. The upcoming improvements will add three more safety islands.
The roadroad crossing on Timberline, south of the intersection with Prospect, is somewhat problematic for bicyclists as the tracks cross the street at an angle, making it hard for bicyclists to cross the tracks at a 90 degree angle (which is safest). However, the plans do show that right angle crossings are being added across the railroad tracks along the sidewalk. So for cyclists that prefer sidewalk riding, this will be a nice added safety measure. No such improvement is shown in the plans for bicyclists on the street, however.
Other improvements include left hand turn lanes for several businesses and residential areas that have sprung up along Timberline since the road was last improved — most notably a left hand turn lane into the Jessup Farm neighborhood. (No more funky u-turns required to get into the Jessup Farm Artisan Village. Yay!)
In the end, most of the improvements to Timberline and Prospect will benefit motorists. But the pork chops at the intersection will definitely be helpful to pedestrians.
Updates will hopefully be made to the Prospect and Timberline Intersection Improvements page on the City website as work progresses through the summer if you’d like to keep up-to-date on this project.