The Traffic Engineering Division in Public Works is working on the design of a new traffic signal at the intersection of W. 58th Place and Independence Street. This intersection is located between the shopping center with King Soopers and the new center The Shops at Ralston Creek. The new signal is planned to be built by winter 2020.
What is happening now?
As part of this project, the design team determined that the existing movement that allows northbound Independence traffic to turn left into the King Soopers parking lot would be eliminated to address operational and safety issues.
What are the issues with the left turn?
There are two main issues with the left turn at this intersection:
Providing a protected left turn when there is not a dedicated turn lane is not allowed by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The MUTCD defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public travel.
There is a safety concern in allowing vehicles to make a left turn from a through street on an arterial roadway and allowing vehicles to make a left turn when there is not enough sight distance to see an opposing vehicle.
Are there other solutions?
Adding a left turn lane was evaluated, however, it would have required major reconstruction on the entire west side of Independence Street between W. 58th Avenue and W. 58th Place to accommodate the addition of the lane in conjunction with maintaining the needed southbound left turn lane capacity at W 58th Avenue. The cost associated with the improvements outweighed the benefits since there are other entrances (both signalized and unsignalized) that provide reasonable access to King Soopers.
When is the change being made?
Traffic Engineering will make the change by the week of June 22, 2020. Making this change now, which is prior to beginning construction on the new signal, will help change driving behavior regarding no left turn at this location.
- by Public Works