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The Westside Avenue Action Plan is a collaborative community effort 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). The plan will lead to the construction of roadway and safety improvements in this area. Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority tax revenues, which will be funded through the voter-approved extension of the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority.
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 much needed 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.
The Westside Avenue Action Plan 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.
Citizens, businesses, community groups and other stakeholders have been actively engaged through stakeholder workshops and public meetings in the study providing ideas and opinions about the best way to shape the corridor to meet current and future transportation needs. Throughout the study, public input has been solicited on how to best address the lack of sufficient pedestrian and bicycle access, stormwater drainage, auxiliary lanes and mobility, access to businesses and residences and street lighting, as well as environmental and historical sensitivities. More information on those meetings is available by visiting Documents.
Following a series of stakeholder/public workshops, area residents, property and business owners and elected officials recommended that the participating agencies carry forward a 3-lane reconfiguration of roadway improvements along Manitou and W. Colorado avenues between 31st Street and the U.S. 24 interchange. The preferred alternative includes one through lane for eastbound and westbound traffic with a center-left turn lane.
Stakeholders preferred the 3-lane option because it better regulates vehicle speeds, improves traffic safety with the addition of a dedicated left turn lane (designed to reduce accidents primarily caused by cars stopping to make left turns on the current cross section), safely accommodates pedestrians and bicycle traffic and provides room for amenities stakeholders identified as important considerations reflecting the community values they identified.
Following the recommendation of the 3-lane preferred alternative, the project team developed 30 percent design plans for the corridor and presented them to the public in April 2014. Public feedback was incorporated into the plans and final design efforts are now underway. Final design concepts and design plans will be presented at a final stakeholder/public meeting in the fall of 2015.
Stakeholder Workshops/Public meeting agendas, presentation documents, and meeting summaries are posted in Documents.
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.”
Visit Participate for more opportunities to get involved.