More sidewalks, lanes in the works at CMU

The sidewalks on 12th Street on the CMU campus are congested with pedestrians, boarders and cyclists.

Cyclists, skateboarders and pedestrians around Colorado Mesa University should have quicker and safer access starting next fall.

Plans are underway to construct about a mile’s worth of sidewalk for an additional travel lane for non-motorized travel around most of the school’s perimeter. The current sidewalk will serve as a bike lane and another sidewalk, on the inside, will be designated for pedestrians.

“Right now our problem seems to be students on skateboards and bikes,” said CMU President Tim Foster.

Foster relayed a story about how he was hit recently on a campus sidewalk by a skateboarder who attempted to skate through a group of pedestrians.

Foster said the project has received state funding. Construction starts next summer and will be completed by the fall, he said.

The new lanes will encompass the campus on three sides, including North Avenue to Cannell Avenue, 12th Street and Orchard Avenue. Cannell Avenue will not be outfitted with new travel lanes. Expansion plans are slated to head west of CMU, across Cannell Avenue.

Jody Kliska, transportation engineer with the city of Grand Junction, said the city would love to see better pathways around the school. Currently a sidewalk along North Avenue close to 12th Street is narrow.

“If it was detached from traffic, even better,” she said.

With the recent snowfall, Kliska said, she’s noticed footprints on sidewalks along busy roads that show people tend to walk as far from traffic as possible.

In some areas, the bike lane will be detached from the roadway, separated by landscaping.

Landscaping also will separate the bike lane from the pedestrian lane.


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