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Safety improvements sought for busy West Colorado Avenue corridor in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Shopping, dining, tourists and a festive atmosphere are hallmarks of Old Colorado City on the western end of Colorado Avenue.

But speeding drivers, lack of parking and the safety of pedestrians and cyclists are the biggest concerns city officials have about the busy corridor.

As a result, officials are undertaking the Midland Corridor Transportation Study to solicit feedback about ideas that could improve safety and make visiting the area more pleasant for tourists and residents of the adjacent neighborhood.

City officials emphasized Monday that they haven't reached a consensus about what changes to make. However, one idea that seems to be catching on is to remove a lane of traffic in each direction on West Colorado Ave. and add bike lanes.

The city began taking public input last month and will continue doing so through the end of this week, with hopes of creating an action plan and determining cost estimates by the end of the year.

The area targeted for improvements on West Colorado Ave. is between Cimino Avenue (the entrance to America the Beautiful Park) and 31st Street.

Sara Vaas is vice president of the Old Colorado City Partnership, an organization representing businesses and residential neighbors. She said she likes the idea to remove two lanes of traffic on West Colorado Ave.

"We have motorcycles speeding through here and it's hard to sit outside on the patio and eat your lunch," she said. "And the limited parking makes people reluctant to come here and shop. So we're asking for ideas to improve the situation."

Tim Roberts, the city's transportation planning manager, said that the city is receiving many responses and is giving citizens more time to submit their ideas.

"It's a very important corridor for us," he said. "Our data shows that current and future traffic volumes of 18,000 vehicles don't support having four lanes and a center turn lane there. So we'll be looking at many options."

Roberts also said that another goal of the study is to determine exactly what West Colorado Ave. is.

"Is it a roadway that serves U.S. 24 traffic? Is it an economic development corridor that provides business access? Is it a corridor that connects downtown Colorado Springs with Manitou Springs? Or is it a neighborhood? We need the public's help in determining that."

The city is considering expanding bike access to the corridor, which may include adding more bike rental stations and filling the gap on the nearby Midland Trail between 21st and 25th street.

"After a second public meeting next month, we hope to have the study finished and an action plan developed by the end of the year," Roberts said. "Then we can have a cost estimate ready for the next round of Pikes Peak Rural Transit Authority projects."

The city has at least two safety projects planned for the West Side -- a roundabout at the intersection of 31st and Fontanero Streets, and a pedestrian/bicycle-activated crossing signal at the intersection of 31st Street and Pikes Peak Avenue.

For more information about the study, visit: https://coloradosprings.gov/project/midland-corridor-transportation-study.

Archive / Colorado Springs / Local News / News / News / Reporter Stories / State & Regional News / Traffic / Video

Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

Comments

17 Comments

  1. If they take out a lane for cars to put in a bike lane, I can guarantee I won’t be spending my money at any businesses on that side of town and avoid that area. Traffic is always congested over there and taking it down to one lane in each direction will make it worse. The areas of downtown they did this same thing to I avoid at all costs. This is why people resort to online shopping, myself included.

  2. Seems to be the standard answer in this town to congestion., take out a lane and add a bike lane. That will help with congestion.There is a trail 2 blocks south along Fountain Creek. When I worked on the westside I used it all the time, don’t like being on the road with cars.

  3. Reduce down to one lane to add a bike lane? You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!! This will not help traffic NOR safety!! Use the city trail systems provided to you for the bike, the one that RUNS RIGHT ALONG OCC!!

  4. Tim Roberts said their studies showed current and future traffic projections didnot support a need for 4 lanes. Is he the same guy that supplied the spokesperson for the group wanting to build new apartments in Mountain Shadows that GOG Road had a light volume of traffic?

  5. the real truth bout the bike lanes is -NOT BECAUSE WE NEED THEM. It has to do with levels of gold platinum diamond national rating for being bike-friendly and having X amount of bike lanes. Does not matter where they are. There are bike lanes all over the southeast side-NOBODY USES THEM. Suthers is competing with every large front range city up 25 who rank higher than CS.

  6. Guarantee you that there is no “debate”. The so called discussion and input is just lip service to make you feel good. They WILL be jerking out two traffic lanes and installing bike lanes. They will eliminate the center turn lane so now if you have to make a left at oh, say, 22nd st.,you can watch the traffic bunch up behind you while you wait to make the turn. Oh and Good luck crossing Colorado where there is no traffic light. it’s happening, guaranteed.

  7. So this is deliberate in it’s intent. The city is truly opting to make traffic congestion worse to slow people down rather than simply having CSPD’s traffic enforcement do their job. They will add bicycle lanes and more parking to take away 1 lane of traffic that goes both directions. Look at how bad Highway 24 is on the weekends, let alone the weekdays. What is going on on Colorado Ave. is only caused because the efficiency of Highway 24 and Colorado Ave. gets the east / west overflow. So now because of the mismanagement of how to efficiently channel traffic on Highway 24 can’t be managed, the city is going to double down on bad decisions and make Colorado Ave. just as bad as highway 24 if not worse. This city needs more lanes of traffic, not less. If a city keeps growing but the roads never get larger to handle the growth how can we think that taking away lanes is an effective way to handle this Traffic problem? There simply isn’t enough bicycle traffic to weigh more than the needs of the everyday traffic through these areas. This was similarly done in Manitou Springs, and because of those changes to parking and bicycles lanes they ran most of the local businesses out of their town. Most of those same businesses came to the OCC and re-established their new location. Now these businesses are wanting to do it again in OCC hoping it will help their business when history has already shown it will not and they will simply move again once this area is ruined by these changes.
    I never thought that I would see the day where our government would rather control speed and traffic related problems in a region, not by using Law Enforcement, but by being deliberately redesigning roadways to further congest them and thus making it more dangerous for all involved parties (Drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians).
    This is a bad idea all around. Enforce the laws, if they are being violated. Add more through roadways to decrease traffic congestion. But don’t use bad design in roadway re-structuring to deliberately slow traffic and increase traffic congestion when this roadway is only congested because highway 24 still can’t handle the flow of traffic it sees every day, especially on weekends.
    Treat the initial problem not the symptom the initial problem created.

    1. Oh yeah and Bicyclist don’t pay road tax, motorists do. So who will pay for the repairs to these road lanes if they become only used for bicyclist lanes? If the city is removing roadways that are paid for and meant to be used as roadways, does that mean that there will now be a reduction that motorists have to pay since all of this asphalt roadway is not being used as it was initially intended, thus being vehicle traffic? Or will the motorists still have to continue paying for roadways that they do not get to use while bicyclists get to use it tax free? At $0.22 cents per gallon for fuel tax to fix roads and 2C 0.57% of sales tax going to continue funding “Road Tax”, will the government provide a reduction in taxes or will the government stop restructuring roadways into unwanted bicycle lanes or will the government continue misappropriating funding for roadways and keep diverting this revenue to pet projects instead of what it was ear-tagged to be used for by law, time will tell. Hopefully the Government elected officials listen to the will of the people and not override the will of the people with their own personal interests and leave Colorado Ave. unchanged. The city Government can do this by simply increasing traffic enforcement and fix the congestion caused by Highway 24 being the only decent and most direct route into the mountains from Colorado Springs.

  8. ” However, one idea that seems to be catching on is to remove a lane of traffic in each direction on West Colorado Ave. and add bike lanes.”

    and where is all this feedback coming from? The last time there was a vote concerning bike lanes- the local cycle clubs stuffed the ballot box.
    I want to see actual commentary that supports the above quote. I think they are lying snakes that sniff Jill Graebler’s bicycle seats and become “brainwashed for bicycles”
    Make cyclists who use bike lanes have a recurring registration and plate-like autos must to help support the infrastructure they are using.

  9. “Safety Improvements” is a code word for reducing vehicle traffic. They want to turn the Springs into Denver, and anybody who has been up there lately knows what a fouled up mess it is.

  10. Goodbye westside businesses! That’s what I’ll be saying when your woke politicians decide to transform the road for VEHICLES into a “bike friendly” thoroughfare. I’ve biked tens of thousands of miles and never trust bike lanes. Cyclist have a false-sense of security. Many cyclists and pedestrians killed and maimed by gawking tourists and mindless, high or distracted drivers. Vote NO on whatever this boondoggle is called…that is IF we citizen taxpayers get a vote.

  11. If the city was in charge if highway 24 and the interstate, they would remove traffic lanes and add bike and wild life lanes.more congestion, more airpolution, more road rage.

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