Parker, Quincy, Smoky Hill intersections get closer look from Aurora city staff

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AURORA | The intersection of East Quincy Avenue and South Parker Road is so congested during morning rush hour, it’s not unusual to see commuters backed up for blocks to East Smoky Hill Road.

And that situation is only slated to worsen in coming years, according to findings from a study conducted with Aurora city staff by consultant David Evans and Associates, Inc.

According to the findings of that study, Parker Road carries more than 85,000 vehicles per day north of Quincy Avenue and this volume is expected to increase to almost 90,000 vehicles per day by 2020 and to more than 100,000 vehicles per day by 2040. Quincy Avenue east of Parker Road carries more than 41,000 vehicles per day and is expected to increase to about 42,000 vehicles per day by 2020.  By 2040, Quincy Avenue is expected to carry more than 45,000 vehicles per day.

Smoky Hill Road carries about 23,000 vehicles per day south of Quincy Avenue, according to the findings. The volumes are expected to increase to 24,000 vehicles per day by 2020 and then increase to almost 27,000 vehicles per day by 2040.  Quincy Avenue east of Smoky Hill Road carries almost 19,000 vehicles per day with expected increases to almost 20,000 vehicles per day in 2020 and 23,000 vehicles per day by 2040.

Now the city is looking for public input on ways to improve the busy intersections.

The city held its first public meeting last October where there were about 90 participants, with around 30 stating they lived in the area and the rest either working or patronizing businesses near the intersections.   

The participants said they were concerned about cars racing one another speeding down Parker Road at night, traffic light timing issues at intersections and nearby streets being in dire need of left and right turn signals. Cyclists also said they had concerns about crossing Parker Road to access Cherry Creek State Park trails, and the safety of pedestrians crossing at Parker and Quincy with crosswalk times not being long enough.

The study found that between 2012 and 2014, there were a total of 228 reported crashes on Parker Road and 109 reported crashes on Quincy Avenue. The most frequent type of crash that occurred on both Parker Road and Quincy Avenue were rear-end crashes. 

The city has come up with around 20 alternatives for the busy intersections from the study results and the first round of public input.

A public meeting to present the proposed alternatives for the intersection is being held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Shalom Park – Beth Israel Nursing Home’s Meeting Room, 14800 E. Belleview Drive.

The number of people living near the intersections is expected to increase in coming years. The population living near the intersections within an area bounded by Parker Road, Hampden Avenue to the north, Himalaya Street to the east and Orchard Road to the south is expected to increase from around 65,000 in 2015 to 71,000 in 2040. That’s according to estimates from the Denver Regional Council of Governments, or DRCOG.

City officials say the Parker/Quincy Road study should be completed this summer.