MIKE COFFMAN: Let’s get Aurora moving again

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When I am walking door-to-door in neighborhoods all across Aurora, one of the most common complaints I hear about is the growing frustration with traffic congestion.

As your Mayor, I will work to reduce traffic congestion, which creates unneeded stress, takes away from family time, and degrades our air quality by vehicles idling in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

I believe that there are five steps that I can take, if I’m elected Mayor of the City of Aurora, to reduce traffic congestion.

Smart City Technologies — By using cutting edge technologies, a “Smart” transportation network can be deployed to reduce traffic congestion through real-time traffic management solutions such as “Adaptive Traffic Signaling” and “Smart Corridors” that manage traffic in real-time in order to utilize our streets as efficiently as possible.

An Adaptive Traffic Signaling System controls traffic signals, along arterial corridors, by adjusting the time intervals of the traffic signals based on real-time traffic conditions instead of by a synchronized system that is relatively inflexible.

Smart Corridors are networks that provide drivers with real-time information on traffic conditions so they can avoid traffic congestion and, if there is an accident, directs them to an alternate route.

Widening of Existing Roads  — There, of course, will be instances where the only solution is to increase capacity by widening a road.  An ongoing example of that is Gun Club Road, which was initially built only to accommodate rural traffic with a single lane in both directions.  With increased development in the Southeast corner of our city, the need to widen Gun Club must be a priority; until it’s widened, further growth, which would only add to the congestion, should not be considered.

Transit-Oriented, Pedestrian and Bicycle Friendly Redevelopments — Mixed use transit-oriented, pedestrian and bicycle friendly redevelopments are a great way to allow for growth but without the impact on traffic.  The blighted 22-acre Regatta Plaza shopping center is a great example of how to redevelop old shopping centers that are located along mass transit corridors.

The Regatta Plaza shopping center was torn down last year and is being redeveloped into a mixed-use transit-oriented redevelopment with 500 units of multifamily residential, 100,000 square feet of retail and 250,000 square feet of commercial space.  It sits across Parker Road from the RTD Nine Mile Light Rail Station and by the RTD Bus Station Park & Ride.  A pedestrian and bicycle bridge will be built across Parker Road to connect the two.

More Primary Jobs in Aurora — Closer to Home – The majority of the workforce that resides in Aurora does not work in Aurora, so there are congested traffic flows exiting Aurora in the morning and coming home in the late afternoon.  Aurora needs more primary jobs in our city that are closer to where our workforce lives.

Implementing an economic development strategy that focuses on creating more jobs closer to where our residents live is one way that we can reduce commute times and, ultimately, reduce traffic congestion.

Leadership on the Metro Mayor Caucus — No doubt, we can implement a number of solutions, in Aurora, that will help reduce traffic congestion, but we also have to work with our neighbors in the Denver Metro Region for solutions.

The Aurora Mayor serves on the Metro Mayors Caucus and it is through this organization that I can show leadership in working with other mayors to find regional solutions to fix our broken transportation system and, ultimately, to reduce traffic congestion.

Mike Coffman is a candidate for Aurora mayor.