Description of Road Management Objectives, Existing Use, and Proposed Use:

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1 Engineering Report White River National Forest Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District Analysis of Road # 700 Red Sandstone Road for Motorized Mixed Use Designation Page 1 of 12

2 Forest: White River District: Eagle-Holy Cross Road Number: 700 Road Name: Red Sandstone Beginning Mile Post: 6.49 at NFSR 734 Ending Mile Post 6.6 at NFSR 701 Traffic Service Level - A, B, C, or D: B - Congested During Heavy Traffic Objective Maintenance Level 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5: 4 High Degree of User Comfort Operational Maintenance Level 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5: 3 Suitable For Passenger Cars Maintenance By: Forest Service and Eagle County Non-Forest Service ROW or jurisdiction? Yes/No NO Any road use agreements, maintenance agreements, or other encumbrances? Yes/No YES Description of agreements or encumbrances: Currently under a Cooperative Forest Road Agreement for road maintenance by Eagle County under a Schedule A Agreement. Maintenance performed by the county occurs once per year. Subject to the Highway Safety Act? Yes/No YES Non-Highway-Legal Vehicles currently permitted? Yes/No NO Is motorized mixed use consistent with State and Local laws? Yes/No YES Notes: Description of Road Management Objectives, Existing Use, and Proposed Use: 1999 Road Management Objectives (RMO) Worksheet is on file and signed by the District Ranger. A recent and updated RMO is currently not available. NFSR 700 is approximately 33.0 miles in total length and is currently not designated for motorized mixed use. The entire road is signed as Highway Legal Vehicles Only. The Red Sandstone Road is classified as an Arterial. Current use of this road is for timber management, private property access, and recreation. The road provides recreational access for dispersed camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, sightseeing, and wilderness access. Timber sale operations have used this segment of the road in the past and it is currently part of the haul route, to State Highway 131, for an active timber sale in the area (Indian Creek Salvage active though March 31, 2016). Two additional timber sales are planned in the area and are anticipated to be active from 2014 through Page 2 of 12

3 In 2006, a Motorized Mixed Use Judgment was prepared for this segment of the Red Sandstone Road (M.P M.P. 6.6) and the original judgment recommended closure to motorized mixed use. A separate judgment was prepared, in 2006, for the portion of the road beginning at the intersection with NFSR 701 and ending at the intersection with NFSR 405 at Muddy Pass (M.P. 6.6 M.P. 24.6) and this judgment recommended designation for motorized mixed use. During White River National Forest Travel Management planning process the Holy Cross Ranger District decided to designate the entire length of the road as open to Highway Legal Vehicles Only. The Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District requested that a detailed Motorized Mixed Use Report be prepared to confirm or to modify the original 2006 Motorized Mixed Use Judgment that recommended closure to mixed use. Summary of Findings: The Red Sandstone road is a very heavily used forest road. The close proximity to the resort town of Vail as well as the scenic qualities of the Piney area attracts many visitors, local and non-local. Summer visitors to the Town of Vail often travel to the privately owned/operated Piney Lake Resort. This very short segment (570 feet) is a single lane, native surfaced road with good alignment and grade. This segment is currently designated and signed for Highway Legal Vehicles Only. There are no known or documented mixed use accidents. The horizontal alignment and grade is good and the adjacent roadside terrain is gentle in nature. The road width varies from 16 to 17 feet with roadside drainage ditches and culverts. The road surface is rough (potholed) and this helps keep the vehicle speeds down. This short section of road is relatively straight with one minor area of vegetation (trees and/or brush) that obscures a roadway curve and oncoming traffic. There are no posted speed limits on the segment of the road being studied and the reasonable and prudent driving speed is mph. A five hour speed study was conducted on Tuesday August 20, Travel speeds observed varied between 15 and 30 mph with the 85 th percentile speed calculated at 25 mph. A single traffic counter was deployed and traffic volumes were recorded between June 19, 2013 and October 23, A total of 24,358 vehicles were counted with an Average Daily Traffic (ADT) of 192 for the 4 month sampling period (127 days). Traffic volumes averaged 162 ADT on weekdays (Mon Fri) and 268 ADT on weekends. According to traffic counts collected on the Page 3 of 12

4 Piney Road (NFSR 701), during the same sampling period, the vast majority of the traffic (90%) turns onto the Piney Road and travels to the privately owned/operated Piney Lake Resort. The peak period of use occurred during the weekend of August 10-11, 2013 (509 ADT per day). Additional periods of peak use included the weekend of July 20-21, 2013 (484 ADT for Saturday and 442 ADT for Sunday), and Saturday during the 4 th of July Holiday weekend, July 6, 2013 (425 ADT). Traffic types, observed during speed studies, consisted of the three vehicle types: passenger cars (36 vehicle - 49% of traffic), pickup trucks/suv s (33 vehicles - 45% of traffic), and commercial traffic consisting of three loaded log trucks and one Cisco delivery truck. No pickup trucks/suv s towing trailers or RV s were observed during the speed study. The original 2006 Motorized Mixed Use Judgment did not rate the crash probability or crash severity, only noting the elevated risk to public safety by continuing motorized mixed use. Mitigation measures may be used to lessen/lower the elevated risk of changing the designation to allow for motorized mixed use. Factors Considered: 1. Operator Considerations: This segment of road is subject to the Highway Safety Act and to Colorado State laws for operators. Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) State Laws no person under the age of ten years may operate an off-highway vehicle on such public street, road, or highway of this state or on such city street or county road. No person ten years or older may operate an off-highway vehicle on such public street, road, or highway of this state or on such city street or county road unless: 1. The person has in his possession a valid driver s license issued by the State of Colorado or another state; or 2. The person is accompanied by and under the immediate supervision of a person who has in his possession a valid driver s license issued by the State of Colorado or another state. The phrase under immediate supervision shall mean that, at a minimum, the unlicensed operator is within visual contact of the licensed supervisor. There are no Colorado State laws requiring head protection (helmet) for OHV operators. Page 4 of 12

5 2. Crash History: There are no known or documented mixed use accidents on this segment of NFSR Traffic Volume and Type Non-Highway-Legal-Vehicles Less than 12 inch tread width: Less than 50 inch tread width: Greater than 50 inch tread width: Highway-Legal-Vehicles Passenger Cars: Pickup Trucks/SUV s Commercial Vehicles: Recreational Vehicles (RV s): X X X Traffic counts were compiled between June 19, 2013 and October 23, Traffic counters used were manufactured by TRAFx and utilize magnetometer technology and advanced embedded software to detect passing vehicles. A single traffic counter was deployed and traffic volumes were recorded between June 19, 2013 and October 23, A total of 24,358 vehicles were counted with an Average Daily Traffic (ADT) of 192 for the 4 month sampling period (127 days). Traffic volumes averaged 162 ADT on weekdays (Mon Fri) and 268 ADT on weekends. The peak period of use occurred during the weekend of August 10-11, 2013 (509 ADT per day). Additional periods of peak use included the weekend of July 20-21, 2013 (484 ADT for Saturday and 442 ADT for Sunday), and Saturday during the 4 th of July Holiday weekend, July 6, 2013 (425 ADT). The close proximity to the resort town of Vail as well as the scenic qualities of the Piney area attracts many visitors, local and non-local. Summer visitors to the Town of Vail often travel to the privately owned/operated Piney Lake Resort. According to traffic counts collected on the Piney Road (NFSR 701) during the same sampling period, the vast majority of the traffic (90%) turns onto the Piney Road and proceed to the privately owned/operated Piney Lake Resort. Based on observations made during speed studies, conducted on August 20, 2013, passenger cars accounted for 49% (36 vehicles) of the total traffic (73 vehicles), while pickup trucks/suv s made up 45% (33 vehicles) of the traffic. The remaining 5% (4 vehicles) was commercial traffic Page 5 of 12

6 that included three loaded log trucks and one Cisco delivery truck. No pickup trucks/suv s towing trailers or RV s were observed. 4. Speed Anticipated Average Speed (85 th percentile): 25 mph There are no posted speed limits on the segment of the road being studied and the reasonable and prudent driving speed is mph. Colorado Revised Statue , Speed Limits notes the following and (a) is applicable to this segment of the Red Sandstone Road. (1) No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing. (2) Except when a special hazard exists that requires a lower speed, the following speeds shall be lawful: (a) Twenty miles per hour on narrow, winding mountain highways or on blind curves; (b) Twenty-five miles per hour in any business district, as defined in section (11); (c) Thirty miles per hour in any residence district, as defined in section (80); (d) Forty miles per hour on open mountain highways; (e) Forty-five miles per hour for all single rear axle vehicles in the business of transporting trash that exceed twenty thousand pounds, where higher speeds are posted, when said vehicle is loaded as an exempted vehicle pursuant to section (3); (f) Fifty-five miles per hour on other open highways which are not on the interstate system, as defined in section (2), C.R.S., and are not surfaced, four-lane freeways or expressways; (g) Sixty-five miles per hour on surfaced, four-lane highways which are on the interstate system, as defined in section (2), C.R.S., or are freeways or expressways; The speed study was conducted with the Bushnell Speed Radar Gun which utilizes Doppler Radar technology with +/- one-mile per hour (mph) accuracy. The study was conducted on Tuesday August 20, 2013 between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm (5 hours). Page 6 of 12

7 Traffic speeds observed varied between 15 and 30 mph with the 85 th percentile speed calculated at 25 mph. A total of 73 vehicles were monitored with only four passenger cars and four pickup trucks/suv s observed traveling above the 85 th percentile (26-30 mph). Four commercial vehicles were observed traveling between 16 mph and 20 mph the commercial vehicles consisted of three loaded log trucks and one Cisco delivery truck. 5. Road Surface Type: This segment of road is native surfaced and in fair - poor condition (potholed) which helps keep the traveling speeds down. 6. Intersections With Other Roads and Trails: There are two road intersections and one trailhead along this segment of the Red Sandstone Road. This short road segment (570 feet) starts at the intersection with the Red & White Mountain road (NFSR 734) and ends at the intersection with the Piney road (NFSR 701). The Lost lake Trailhead parking area is located between the Red & White Mountain and the Piney road intersections and has two entrances off the Red Sandstone road. All of the roads mentioned above as well as the trailhead access points have adequate sight distance, in both directions, at their intersections with the Red Sandstone Road. 7. Other Roadway Factors: The roadway is in fair - poor condition, due to the potholing, and is relatively straight. There is one minor curve section that has vegetation (trees and/or brush) obscuring the roadway and oncoming traffic that requires clearing. 8. Roadside Conditions: As mentioned previously in #7 Other Roadway Factors, there is one minor curve section that has vegetation (trees and/or brush) obscuring the roadway and oncoming traffic that requires clearing. Clearing and brushing, at a minimum, should be 5 from the top of the ditch or 5 from the edge of the road, whichever is greater. The entire length of the road occurs in gentle terrain with very few trees that would be an obstacle for vehicles attempting to leave the road to avoid a collision. Page 7 of 12

8 Looking north - example of inadequate sight distance due to vegetation (small trees/brush) obscuring roadway around curve. NFSR 700 continues left around curve and NFSR 701 is straight ahead. The Lost Lake Trailhead is located on the right. Page 8 of 12

9 Same curve as the previous photo, but looking south - example of inadequate sight distance due to vegetation (small trees/brush) obscuring roadway around curve. The Lost Lake Trailhead is located on the left. Page 9 of 12

10 9. Risk Without Mitigations: The original 2006 Motorized Mixed Use Judgment didn t provide a Crash Probability/Severity rating. The rating below was developed during visits to the site by the Forest s Transportation Planner. Ratings were based on traffic volumes, vehicle types, vehicle speeds, and roadside obstructions. Crash Probability: High: X Medium: Low: Crash Severity: High: Medium: X Low: There are no known or documented mixed use accidents on this segment of the road. The high crash probability rating is due to the sheer volume of traffic. A crash severity of high is possible due to the large difference in size between OHV s (ATV s, unlicensed motorcycles/dirt bikes, & UTV s) and loaded log trucks should a crash occur, however, due to the low traveling speeds (85 th percentile of 25 mph) and the fact the adjacent gentle terrain provides escape options for vehicles leaving the road in an attempt to avoid a collision, the crash severity is rated as medium. Mitigation Measures: Installation of Motorized Mixed Use signing to inform the traveling public of the types of vehicles that can be expected on the road. Reduce road surface maintenance frequency (2 years between maintenance cycles instead of the current 1 year cycle) to maintain the existing rough road surface to reduce or decrease travel speeds. Roadside clearing/brushing on the one curve noted for increased sight distance and earlier detection of oncoming vehicles. Page 10 of 12

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