After exploring safer options for a proposed trail crossing at Crossroads Boulevard, the Windsor Town Board approved the final major subdivision plat for the 30-acre Water Valley South Subdivision at the board’s Jan. 13 meeting.
The subdivision is zoned residential mixed use and will include 94 single-family lots, which vary in size from 6,000 to 9,000 square feet, according to town associate planner Josh Olhava.
Board member Myles Baker said some residents expressed concern about a proposed pedestrian crossing at Crossroads Boulevard and New Liberty Road during a community meeting for the new subdivision and added he had concerns about kids’ safety, as well.
“That seems like a really big concern if we’re going to ask children to cross this busy street, and it’s only going to get busier,” he said.
Olhava said staff worked with the applicant, Water Valley Land Company, to come up with improvements for the crossing like standard pedestrian crossing signs and a pedestrian refuge island midway through the street.
Mayor John Vazquez said he shared Baker’s concerns about the crossing and asked why the pedestrian crossing was proposed at New Liberty Road. Olhava said it was because it would connect with an existing trail as part of the town’s Safe Routes to School program.
“If I was encouraging my kids to go to New Liberty and the parks down there, I guess I would encourage them to go down Crossroads and cross somewhere else,” Vazquez said. “I’d like to just recommend that if that crossing goes in, we do more than just the nominal. If it wasn’t a 45-mile-per-hour speed limit, I guess I wouldn’t have so much concern … As it is, driving down that road, you feel like you’re on a runway anyway.”
Board member Don Thompson shared the concerns of the other board members and stated he’d like to see flashing lights in the crosswalk to make crossing safer.
Pat McMeekin, chief operating officer for Water Valley Land Company, said the company understood the importance of having the crossing be safe and said the company attempted to mitigate the issue by reducing the density of the subdivision.
“I don’t think we’d have any problems enhancing the crossing, if we’re talking flashing lights or buttons or things like that,” McMeekin said. “I believe we can probably work that out because we recognize the safety issue there.”
McMeekin also suggested the trail could be terminated on an interior street in the subdivision to discourage the crossing at New Liberty Road, and pedestrian traffic could be diverted to a safer area down the road.
Vazquez said he’d love to see the crossing moved to a controlled intersection. He said town staff can work through the trail crossing with the applicant on the construction documents to make the crossing as safe as possible, allowing the board to approve the plat.
McMeekin said construction would begin as soon as possible, with some preliminary grading planned for February.