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Westside Avenue Action Plan: Gateway to Revitalization!
A road improvement study that will result in construction of roadway improvements
The Westside Avenue Action Plan, which is in its second phase, is a study to develop short-term transportation and safety improvement recommendations and a long-range livable, walkable, economic vision for the 1.5 miles of US 24 Business West (W. Colorado and Manitou avenues between N. 31st Street and the US 24 interchange). This plan will lead to the construction of roadway and safety improvements in this area. Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority tax revenues, which will be available sometime after January 2015, will provide much of the construction funding.
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This vital link between the national historic districts of Old Colorado City in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs is in need of revitalization if it is to be a viable connection between these two vibrant and popular destinations. The Westside Avenue Action Plan is the first step toward infrastructure improvements to address safety and efficient travel in the corridor. These improvements will set the stage for economic revitalization and other future corridor enhancements and positively contribute to the region’s economic vitality.
Although the challenges in this corridor are many and diverse, and transportation improvements alone will not solve all of them, the improvements are intended to serve as a catalyst for other enhancements. The desired result will ultimately bring a renewed identity and vitality to this corridor.
During the study’s first phase there was a vigorous public process that included stakeholder workshops and community open houses to collect, share and validate community values and desires for the corridor. More information on those meetings is available by clicking on the Documents link above.
As the Westside Avenue Action Plan study begins its next phase, citizens, businesses, community groups and other stakeholders are encouraged to remain involved to provide ideas and opinions about:
- The best way to address the existing gap in the Midland Trail between Ridge and Columbia roads.
- Reconstructing the bridge over Fountain Creek at Columbia Road
- Accomodations for bicycles
This study is a collaborative effort among multiple agencies that have jurisdiction along the study segment: El Paso County, the City of Colorado Springs, the City of Manitou Springs, and the Colorado Department of Transportation. Agency representatives have made a high level, regional commitment to work together and with area residents, businesses, community groups, and other stakeholders to develop a citizen-driven plan based on community values for the much-needed improvements along this vital corridor.
April 16 Stakeholder Meeting
Westside Avenue Action Plan stakeholders review one of the boards displayed during the April 16 stakeholders meeting at the Westside Community Center. Among the agenda items, stakeholders learned about and discussed the preferred alignment for W. Colorado Avenue between Ridge Road and Columbia Road. Stakeholders recommended recognizing the history of the location of the new bridge over Fountain Creek by designating the future structure as the Adams Crossing Bridge. Meeting documents are available under Documents. Additional photos from the meeting are posted under the Photo link (also above).
Westside Avenue Action Plan — Moving Forward
The first phase of the study concluded with a Public Open House (March 20, 2013 at the Westside Community Center) in which the preferred 3-lane option, as recommend by citizens and stakeholders, was presented to the public. The 3-lane option involves one traffic lane in each direction eastbound and westbound and a center left-turn lane. A dedicated left-turn lane would reduce accidents, primarily caused by cars stopping to make left turns on the current cross-section. Click on the Documents tab to view the presentation and meeting summary from the March 20 Public Open House.
The study’s second phase, which began in October 2013, is expected to continue through the end of 2014 and will result in 30 percent design plans for the corridor. Property owners, stakeholders, residents and citizens will have several chances to provide input to the study team in this next study phase.
- January-June 2014: Corridor alignment alternatives analysis; preliminary design
- April 2014: Stakeholder meeting to review/discuss potential designs for corridor’s “Bridge to Ridge” segment (Ridge Road to Columbia Road)
- 2014-2015: Continue corridor design
- Some time after January 1, 2015: Begin construction
Stakeholder Committee Workshop agendas, presentations and meeting summaries are posted in the Documents tab of this website.
El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark, whose District 3 encompasses Westside Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and Ute Pass voices her appreciation for the commitment and participation of resident and business stakeholders in developing a good plan for the Westside avenue corridor. “Residents and businesses in the area have long recognized the need for traffic and safety improvements through this area. Not only will it be a better place to live and do business, but it also helps us attract more tourism dollars to the entire region.”
Click on the “How to Participate” tab above for more opportunities to get involved and provide input.