May 9, 2019
Council Adopts Highway 34 Study
After three years of work, CDOT and the coalition of cities along US 34 are in the process of adopting the US 34 PEL (Planning and Environmental Linkages) Study. Anyone who drives around Northern Colorado knows that traffic has been increasing dramatically on the 34 corridor. The PEL is important because it provides the framework for the long-term implementation of transportation improvements, as required by the federal government (National Environmental Policy Act).
On May 7 the Loveland City Council unanimously approved the resolution approving the PEL, which focuses on US 34 from Larimer County Road 29 (Cater Lake Road) all the way to Weld County Road 53 in Kersey. In conjunction with the PEL, the Coalition completed a Loveland Highway 34 Access Control Plan (ACP) from LCR 27 to I-25 after it was determined that there was no ACP west of I-25. The Council also approved the Intergovernmental Agreement in support of the ACP (without discussion).
The goals of the ACP are to increase safety, accommodate traffic demands, preserve property values, encourage the use and development of local streets and enhance the corridor’s appearance (aesthetics). The ACP recommends a focus on “key turn movements” at major intersections. Changes to property access points will happen only when there is development or major re-development, at which time the developer would be required to help fund the improvements. Because the ACP affects multiple government entities – Loveland, Larimer County and CDOT – it required an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) to formalize approval of the ACP. (For example, without these plans, Loveland would not be eligible for the funding it has already received for Highway 34 improvements from Denver Avenue to Rocky Mountain Avenue.)
While there is little funding available now to make all the improvements listed in the PEL and ACP, these documents are critical because they will allow the Coalition to be prepared when, and if, money is available.