Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Utility work generates mud and speed complaints

(note: this entry composed by Mr. Don McKee)

PIcture: Jim Harrington on site at Mapleton during utility upgrades.

Rocky Milano, the City of Boulder Inspector for the Mapleton Hollow infrastructure construction job, received many complaints from City of Boulder residents regarding the messy-slippery mud accumulating on the Mapleton Avenue blacktop. In particular, bicyclists passing by on Mapleton Avenue felt that they were unnecessarily endangered.

Mr. Milano instructed the Twin Peaks crew to use manual-labor (hand-shovels) to first clean the city roadway, and then install a "mud-removal-trap" to clean the larger clumps from the tires of all vehicles leaving the construction area. Milano specifically directed the crew to lightly (8" deep) excavate a small area in the main-entry driveway near Mapleton Avenue and replace the dirt with 2-inch diameter loose rocks. This is a recommended mitigation approach in such cases.

This "mud-removal-trap" reduced the "tracking" of mud onto the city streets as the clumps were rubbed-off the tires by the frictional contact with the loose rocks. Those residents with small-tired vehicles will find this to be a nuisance, and may "get stuck" if vehicle momentum is insufficient.

By its very nature, it is dangerous to drive a private motor-vehicle or bicycle into a construction area. Trailer-park residents cannot expect to have ready-easy access to their homes by personal motor-vehicles every evening, and cannot expect to drive into the construction zone (dangerous, restricted area) during the work-day.

Cooperative and gracious attitudes will be helpful to everyone. In this regard, Mr. James Harrington has kindly posted two voluntary 5 MPH speed-limit signs to reduce the risk of personal-injury accidents, and to reduce the messy dust-dirt that is stirred up when vehicles move through at the old posted speed limit. When considerate residents who are passing-through divert and go out of their way to use other driveways to avoid the construction area, everyone is benefitted.

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