CDOT Notes Decrease in Crashes on U.S. 36
The Colorado Department of Transportation is crediting a reduction in traffic crashes and traffic violations on the U.S. 36 corridor on an increased police presence on the roadway that connects Denver to Boulder.
The Colorado State Patrol reported a 33 percent drop in crashes on the roadway — which runs from Boulder east to the Interstate 25 express lanes — from July to December last year when the numbers are compared to the previous three years, according to a news release.
Plenary Roads Denver, the company that operates the toll road, entered into an agreement with the state patrol for troopers last year to provide 4,000 hours of patrolling services each year.
The state patrol reported 84 crashes from July to December 2017, compared to an average of 125 during the same six-month period in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The agency also noted a downward trend in express lane violations during the same time frame last year, reporting a high of 459 in July and a low of 219 in December.
Colorado State Trooper Gary Cutler said that on tollways such as U.S. 36, troopers look for people weaving in and out of the express lane looking to avoid tolls or not having enough people inside a vehicle using carpool lanes.
He added, however, that troopers also look out for careless and reckless drivers as a matter of course.
“We are always looking out for the safety of everyone,” he said. “When we are out there are, we are also looking for speeding, DUI and careless and reckless driving, we are looking for violations that are detrimental to everyone’s safety.”
Cutler said CSP is ramping up to conduct increase patrols along E-470 in southern Jefferson County when construction is completed.
Companies that operate the toll roads pay the state patrol for trooper time, and CSP functions on grants and overtime for some of its enforcement operations, Cutler said.
The state patrol is one of six agencies that patrol the roadway, and CDOT spokeswoman Megan Castle said in an email that sheriff’s deputies from Adams, Boulder and Broomfield counties, along with Westminster and Broomfield police, also have a presence.
Boulder County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Carrie Haverfield said the sheriff’s office hasn’t participated in any targeted enforcement operations with regard to toll violations on U.S. 36. However, she said, the office does receive grant money to conduct DUI enforcement operations and campaigns directed at drivers who don’t move over for police officers on the side of roadways.
A major expansion project on U.S. 36 that cost nearly $500 million wrapped up in early 2016. The project included new toll lanes, a commuter bikeway and the replacement of several bridges. Drivers pay various toll rates on the road, based on the time of day and how far they travel.
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