Monday, April 14, 2008

Larkspur Residents Now Support Grade Separation

A long-standing, summer tradition along the Front Range is the Rennaisance Festival in Larkspur. Almost as long-standing is the tendency for traffic jams to lock up the town's main intersection on festival weekends, especially when a string of freights tie up the grade crossing just west of the intersection on Perry Park Ave, the only direct road to the festival from I-25.

If, and this is a big if, Larkspur succeeds in building the underpass, the Rennaisance Festival will likely double in size and surrounding businesses should plan their expansions now. The main reason, however, is still the best reason: A grade separation will allow fire and ambulance services to reach victims much faster, anytime. Separation of the grades will improve response times, improving the chances of survival for those living west of the crossing.

The likelihood of the separating the grade will improve as state and county leaders climb onboard. Union Pacific and BNSF will likely get on board about the same time. The festival organizers have been pushing for it for years, last year suing BNSF over a train that blocked the crossing for nearly an hour and turned away many would-be attendees. The organizers later dropped the suit, but still contended that something needed to be done. Something like a grade separation.

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