Sopris Sun

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Dealing with Dolores; is there a Way?

By Lynn Burton

Sopris Sun Staff Writer

Dolores Way is one of Carbondale’s more problematic streets and most of it isn’t even in the town limits.

Coming into Carbondale on Highway 133 from Highway 82, Dolores Way is the first right-turn option. It leads past the blue-roofed Ajax Bike & Sports, then into unincorporated Garfield County and greater Satank itself before dead-ending at the Roaring Fork bridge.

The problem with Dolores Way is getting out. Specifically, the problem is turning left to pull up onto Highway 133 to motor north during morning or afternoon rush hour, or after school. It can take a while getting onto Highway 133, as Dolores’s traffic stacks up and motorists get antsy.

The solution?

That’s the problem.

After months of discussions, there apparently isn’t a solution that will satisfy Satankers and their on-again-off-again adversaries at the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Is anyone besides Satankers and CDOT involved in the dispute?

Yes. The Garfield County commissioners are involved and they’ll discuss the Dolores Way issue while considering CDOT’s proposed Highway 133 access control plan at their meeting at the Garfield County Courthouse at 1 p.m. on July 8.

The Carbondale Board of Trustees signed off on CDOT’s access control plan (ACP) several months ago and now it is the county’s turn. The ACP includes plans for rebuilding dozens of existing access points on Highway 133 in years to come. At some point in the future it calls for the town to build a road south of Ajax Bike & Sport to connect with Highway 133 at La Fontana Plaza.

Most Satankers want CDOT to put in a traffic light at Dolores Way but they’ve been told that such a light is too close to the one at Village Road.

Dolores Way activists report that last April they met with CDOT, Garfield County and the town of Carbondale. The solution that seemed to make everyone happy, or at least something CDOT could live with, was a roundabout at La Fontana Plaza. With a roundabout, folks wanting to turn left from Dolores Way onto Highway 133 would turn right, hit the roundabout and let it spin them north on Highway 133. Satankers say CDOT later backed out of the roundabout.

Satankers say they’ll attend next Monday’s county commissioner meeting, but might have to leave home well before noon in order to turn left from Dolores Way and onto Highway 133.