Montrose, CO — The City of Montrose has been selected by LiveWell Colorado to receive $5,000 for crosswalk improvements at the intersection of Main Street and Uncompahgre Avenue. The city applied for LiveWell’s HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) Cities and Towns Campaign Small Grants Program earlier this month.
The grant will be used to install pedestrian-activated flashing crosswalk signage as well as new crosswalk pavement stripping. The total project cost is $15,000 and is expected to be completed by the end of November.
The existing crosswalk signage will be replaced with four flashing signs activated on an as-needed basis by a pedestrian push button. The solar and battery-powered signage is designed to flash for a specified interval to give pedestrians time to cross. Because of the battery and solar panel installation, the signs require a concrete foundation in order to provide good stability and long life.
On average, there are about 8,100 vehicles a day traversing this section of Main Street.
“Crossing Main Street can often be a nerve-wracking experience that can require pedestrians stepping out into a crosswalk with the expectation that cars will stop," said Grant Coordinator Kendall Cramer. "This grant will further the city’s efforts to create a pedestrian-friendly downtown. Improved crosswalks benefit pedestrians, businesses, and motorists. The City of Montrose is appreciative of the support of LiveWell Colorado."
The purpose of the grant program is to assist HEAL cities with implementing policies to create communities where people can eat healthier and live more active lives. The City of Montrose became a HEAL city in April 2015.
The crosswalk project aligns with HEAL policies adopted by the City of Montrose to improve traffic and pedestrian circulation, maintain downtown economic vitality, and encourage pedestrian-friendly plans and designs for streets, sidewalks and bicycle routes. The project contributes to the city’s goal of having “complete streets” that encourage walking and healthy living.
In addition to linking businesses on each side of Main Street, the crosswalks provide access to the Farmers’ Market held in Centennial Plaza, thus improving access to healthy and nutritious, locally grown fruits and vegetables, particularly for Montrose’s low-income population. LiveWell Colorado is already reducing barriers at the Montrose Farmers’ Market through the Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) Program, which doubles the value of federal nutrition benefits, SNAP or food stamps. The program increases access to Colorado-grown fruits and vegetables by providing a $1 to $1 match up to $20 a day on SNAP purchases at the market.
The intersection of Main Street and Uncompahgre Ave is one of several identified by the City of Montrose as key to improving pedestrian safety downtown and joins another similarly improved crosswalk at Cascade Avenue. Placement of these crosswalks creates a traffic-calming effect, slowing down traffic and alerting drivers of the likelihood of pedestrian activity.
The improved crosswalk will also improve safety and accessibility to the Colorado Workforce Center, located one block north of Main Street, and for students who attend Northside Elementary School, located six blocks north on Uncompahgre Avenue.
The project is being driven by the Montrose Development and Revitalization Team (DART). DART consists of invested groups and individuals, including business and property owners, nonprofit organizations, city staff, Montrose City Council members, and others who want to see Montrose grow and be more prosperous.
The project has the backing of the Colorado Workforce Center and Valley Food Partnership, which manages the Montrose Farmers’ Market.
The City of Montrose was selected by Livewell Colorado and OEDIT as the 2018 Governor’s Healthy Community, a recognition that testifies to the city’s efforts toward building community wellness while also impacting economic vitality.
For more city news visit CityOfMontrose.org.