Cortez streets will see a few changes in the near future.
At their regular meeting Tuesday, the Cortez City Council voted to approve two-hour limits on parking spots by the downtown fire station, along with designating 7th Street as a “No Thru Truck Traffic” street.
Before the meeting, the Cortez Fire Protection District requested that three parking spaces in front of Station No. 1, located at 31 N. Washington St., be designated as two-hour parking.
“They’re getting filled up over the whole day and none of their customers are able to access them,” said public works director Philip Johnson.
The fire station is situated within the Central Business District, which has two-hour parking limits throughout. However, previously the fire station parking for customers was not limited to two hours.
Fire Station No. 1 construction finished up in 2018, and included off-street parking for employees.
The vote to approve the parking limit was unanimous.
Johnson also presented the proposal for designating 7th Street as a “No Thru Truck Traffic” street.
The reasoning behind the designation, he said, is largely because of the danger posed by excessive truck traffic on 7th Street, which is located on the south side of Cortez and connects South Broadway and East Main Street (via South Sligo Street). The proposal includes the South Sligo Street sector just below Main.
This corridor passes by two school campuses – Mesa Elementary School and Montezuma-Cortez High School – along with several residential areas that the city might want to develop in the future.
“The problems with truck traffic on City streets is not a new issue,” Johnson said in a staff report. “We dealt with this on the north side of Main Street with trucks missing Highway 491 North. Working with CDOT, additional signage and road markings helped this situation.”
He added that mapping software could also drive trucking traffic onto 7th Street.
“Public Works would like to stave off this issue with the requested designation,” he continued in his report. “We will install appropriate signage as required by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.”
The designation will specifically apply to trucks that are not making local deliveries, according to Johnson.
At the meeting, Johnson said the street has seen some issues with trucking traffic and staff members hope to prevent any future issues, especially considering the area’s high density and the schools located along the street.
“I have personally seen two gasoline trucks go through that area to get to Main,” he said. “We had an issue with a propane tank being parked down there, a truck, a 6,000-gallon propane truck just being parked down there in a residential area.”
Mayor Karen Sheek agreed with the proposal.
“I travel 7th a lot, and I would really prefer not to see big, heavy trucks on it,” she said. “To me, that’s not a good place for those kinds of vehicles.”
The proposal passed 4-3, with Mayor Pro-tem Orly Lucero, Councilman Ty Keel, and Councilman Gary Noyes voting against it.