Tue Nov 24th, 2015
The Southern Ute Drum
The Tribal Planning Department held an open meeting with tribal members and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Permanent Fund and Growth Fund staff to discuss the Long Range Transportation Plan Update and Tribal Transportation Safety Plan on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at the Ignacio High School Auditorium.
Stan Reich of WHPacific, Inc. – a 100 percent Native American owned full-service engineering, architectural, planning, and technical consulting firm headquartered in Colorado Springs – presented the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Update and the Tribal Transportation Safety Plan (TTSP). The tribe hired WHPacific to complete the plan.
The Long Range Transportation Plan Update is used to clearly demonstrate the tribe’s transportation needs for the next 20 years. The plan identifies the short, mid, and long-term needs, such as safety hazards, signage, future developments and pedestrian developments. The tribe’s last LRTP was done in 2006.
The following short-term projects were identified: alleviating congestion on Ouray Drive, enacting code – making traffic citations civil, installing signs and guard rails at La Posta curve, La Boca Bridge, signal improvements, improving the intersection of La Plata County Road 318 with 310.
Mid-term projects suggested include lighting improvements, pedestrian crossing to the Bear Dance grounds, accessibility improvements, road service improvements, and having the Ignacio Road Runner Transit link up with Archuleta County’s Mountain Express. Long-term include wild life crossing with possible under passing for wildlife.
The Tribal Traffic Safety Plan will be used to document safety concerns on Tribal, BIA, County and State-owned roads serving tribal lands.
The Safety Plan identified some emphasis areas that include: distracted driving, alcohol and drugs, speeding, seat belt use, motorcycle awareness, youth and elder driving, road conditions, pedestrians and bicycles, lighting, road maintenance and animal crashes. Strategies to make the emphasis areas safer include education, engineering and enforcement.
Both plans were presented and open for comments, questions and concerns last Tuesday. The plans are substantially more detailed than information mentioned above. The final plan is set to go before Tribal Council in early December.