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Controversial street delineators removed from one SW Colorado Springs intersection but remain at another

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Late Tuesday morning, city crews suddenly removed upright street markers called delineators from the intersection of Cheyenne Boulevard and Woodburn Street.

The reflective yellow and white tubes were installed last summer as part of a study, prompted partly by citizen feedback, to learn if they could slow traffic down and increase pedestrian safety.

Ryan Phipps, the project manager, said that the removal wasn't because of some concerns from neighbors that the delineators confused drivers and were obstructive, because it was part of the city's overall plan.

"We have a non-standard configuration there," he explained. "We have a skewed intersection with Woodburn, and then we have St. Elmo Avenue coming in at another angle. So, it's a really awkward intersection and we did attempt to make some improvements to provide some additional safety at that particular intersection. Ultimately, we didn't see a way that we could improve safety specifically at this location."

Jim Bensberg, a former El Paso County commissioner who lives in the neighborhood, said that he received an email from the public works department that the removal would happen on Tuesday morning as he waited to address the City Council on the matter.

"We don't believe this is a grass-roots citizens effort to get these delineators and other traffic-calming devices installed," he said. "If this is an experiment, it's failed badly already. Many of the neighbors weren't aware of these delineators until they showed up."

Meanwhile, crews also removed a few delineators from the four-way stop at the intersection of Cheyenne and Lorraine Street, to make room for installing two crosswalks and moving the two flashing stop signs on Cheyenne -- also part of the safety study -- closer to the intersection so that drivers can see them better.

However, the other delineators will remain for now.

Several neighbors said that they like the delineators and believe they are increasing safety.

"I like the crosswalks, so we'll see how they work," said Robin Depies. "It's dangerous crossing the road here. I don't know how you just slow people down."

James Lewis runs in the neighborhood regularly and said that he understands why people may not like them.

"Maybe they can make a few adjustments for people who live here," he said. "Such as to make sure (delineators) don't block driveways or mailboxes, or reduce left turns at intersections. But there shouldn't be a big gripe for the safety of the community."

The yellow delineators mark safe zones in medians for people who need more time to cross the street; the white medians show where future concrete "bump-outs" -- in which curbs stick out farther into a street -- will slightly reduce the distance necessary to cross.

Phipps said that no decision has been made yet on whether concrete medians will be built to provide added pedestrian safety.

Crews also installed "Stop Ahead" lettering in the pavement on both sides of Cheyenne at the intersection, to accompany flashing message boards alerting drivers to the four-way stop.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.


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