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6A - Amendments to North Boulder Subcommunity Right-Of-Way Plan, Front Range and Lykins Avenues~ CITY OF BOULDER PLANNING BOARD AGENDA ITEM MEETING DATE: May 16, 2002 (Agenda Item Prepazation bate: May 3, 2002) ~ i AGENDA TITLE: Public comment and Board discussion of whether or not to initiate amendments to North Boulder Subcommunity Right-of-Way Plan regarding modifications to Front Range and Lykins Avenues. REQUESTING DEPARTMENT: Planning Department Peter Pollock, Planning Director Robert Cole, Director of Land Use Review Steve Durian, Transportation Engineer OVERVIEW: Staff is responding to a request by residents of the Dakota Ridge neighborhood to consider elimination of planned extensions of Front Range and Lykins into the Dakota Ridge neighborhood. This change to the North Boulder Subcommunity Plan would need to be approved by the Planning Board. INTRODUCTION: During the public meeting process regarding the homeless shelter site, residents of the Dakota Ridge neighborhood asked to remove tha proposed Front Range and Lykins street connections to Broadway from the North Boulder Subcommunity plan (NBSP). These residents also requested that no pedestrian or bike connectivity be provided along the Front Range alignment. The ordinance that was passed implementing the NBSP requires that Planning Board approve changes to the transportation infrastructure alignments if the change is greater than 50 feet or if S:\plan\pb-items~memos\sdNOBO.mem.wpd AGENDA ITEM # 6A Paee 1 an element of the plan is removed. The Board has done this in the past by approving site reviews that involve changes to these alignments. In order to remove a street outside of a specific land . use review as is being proposed by the Dakota Ridge Neighborhood residents, the Boazd would need to initiate and approve such a change. Front Range Avenue Front Range Avenue is a local residential street that was approved as part of the Dakota Ridge Site Review. This street currently exists as local residential street that extends up to the eastern boundary of the Dakota Ridge neighborhood. The NBSP shows this street extending through property that currently is configured in such a way that the roads could not now be constructed. W ith redevelopment of this property, the expectation is that this street would be built by the developer. The Front Range road connection has been particularly contentious to the Dakota Ridge Neighborhood residents because the recently approved homeless shelter is located on the south side of Front Range with one property between the shelter site and the Dakota Ridge neighborhood. Many residents of the neighborhood expressed concern not only with vehicular traffic that may use a street connection that ties Broadway to the Dakota Ridge neighborhood but also allows a pedestrian route to the neighborhood that might provide access to homeless people from the shelter. The alignment shown on the NBSP for Front Range within Dakota Ridge is skewed with respect ~ to its alignment between 11 `" Street and Broadway. This shift in alignment effectively breaks the sight line between the homeless shelter and the neighborhood. This alignment shift would be expected to.lessen the pedestrian activity from outside the neighborhood to points inside the neighborhood while still providing a pedestrian opportunity for residents to reach Broadway on foot. The alignment of Front Range as shown on the plan may not be possible for reasons of geometric design and potential site layout. Staff believes that there are options for aligning this street other than the configuration indicated on the NBSP right-of-way plan. If it is impossible to effectively align this street, staff may recomx~xend to the Planning Board that the street not be constructed at the time of a site review application; however it is not now anticipated that this action will be necessary. Lykins Avenue Like Front Range Avenue, Lykins Avenue is a local residential street that was approved as part of the Dakota Ridge Site Review. This street currently exists as a local residential street that extends up to the western boundary of the Dakota Ridge neighborhood. The NBSP shows this street extending through property that currently is not under consideration for development. With redevelopment of this property, this street would be required to be built by the developer. Traffic cutting through the neighborhood to reach Broadway was the primary concern expressed i S:\plan\pb-items~nemos\sdtdm.mem.wpd AGENDA ITEM # 6A Paee 2 M • ~ by the neighborhood representatives; however, it is understood by staff that, unlike the Front Range alignment, pedestrian and bicycle connectivity is not opposed. Staff Assessment of Lykins and Front Range Dakota Ridge is a neighborhood that at build-out will consist of 190 single family homes, 99 townhomes, and 164 apartment units. The traffic generated at build-out is expected to be about 4,700 vehicles per day. Transportation and Planning staff developed the NBSP with a goal of providing multiple points of street connectivity for residential neighborhoods with densitias and traffic generation similar to Dakota Ridge. This goal is consistent with the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) policies for grided street networks to disperse traffic rather than focus traffic on single collector streets serving dead end cul-de-sacs. The TMP also recognizes the goal of developing walkable neighborhoods by creating multiple pedestrian routes spaced at a pedestrian scale. Lykins and Front Range, as shown on the NBSP, are street connections that achieve all of these goals. The only other two points of access to Broadway without these streets would be Lee Hill Road and Laramie Boulevard. These intersections are approximately 1,000 feet apart. Furthermore, since no homes front on Lee Hill Road, the additional distance from the first residential street that intersects Lee Hill to Broadway is 300 feet. This 1,300 foot separation between residential street intersections along arterial streets is far more than the typical street grid spacing of about 650 feet planned elsewhere in North Boulder. With all of these factors in mind, Transportation and Planning staff does not at this time support the removal of these street connections from the NBSP. If any reason were to arise with future development that would impact these connections, staff would at that time identify these issues and Planning Board would have an opportunity to consider those issues and remove one or both street connections if deemed appropriate. Concerns of cut-through traffic from outside the Dakota Ridge neighborhood using the proposed Front Range and Lykins are believed by staff to be unwarranted. Since the only traffic using these streets would be from the Dakota Ridge neighborhood, these streets would serve to reduce the impacts of traffic on Dakota Boulevard,l0`h Street, and Lee Hill Road by distributing the traffic more evenly across the street grid. According to the fina] traffic impact study for the full build-out of Dakota Ridge, the amount of traffic that would be generated by the development that would be routed to Broadway via these two proposed streets is in line with the capacity and character of local streets. The proposal of not allowing a pedestrian connection to the Dakota Ridge neighborhood along the Front Range alignment is not supported by Transportation staf£ This pedestrian route is a vital connection for access to transit on Broadway &om the Dakota Ridge neighborhood. Without Front Range as a pedestrian connection, the walking distance to Broadway becomes much longer and the viability of transit and bicycle facilities on Broadway would become significantly reduced for neighborhood residents. S:\plan\pb-items~nemos~sdtdm.mem.wpd AGENDA ITEM # 6A PaQe 3 Planning and Transportation staff recommend that the Front Range and Lykins street connections remain on the NBSP as currently shown. Removal of these streets during a future review of ~ redevelopment is not precluded by not amending the NBSP at this time. Should Planning Boazd wish to initiate a public hearing at this time to address the need for the vehicular and/or pedestrian connectivity provided by Front Range and Lykins, staff would return with more information in order to identify expected traffic impacts, information from other city departments, and any other specific information requested by the Boazd. ACTION REQUESTED The Planning Board is asked to consider the information presented herein and decide whether or not to initiate a public hearing on the removal of the Front Range and Lykins Avenue connections from the North Boulder Subcommunity Plan. Approved by: ' ,~~ ~" Peter Pollock, Planning Director • . S:\plan\pb-itemsunemos\sdtdm.mem.wpd AGENDA ITEM # 6A Page 4