Westside Avenue Action Plan: Gateway to Revitalization
Documents: Open House of September 18, 2012
Public Open House, September 18, 2012
On September 18, 2012, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, an open house for the Westside Avenue Action Plan project was held at Memorial Hall at the Manitou Springs City Hall. The purpose of the meeting was to gather input on the alternatives presented and any issues for the project and to solicit feedback on the process.
Members from the Westside Avenue Action Plan project team including representatives from El Paso County, City of Colorado Springs, City of Manitou Springs, Colorado Department of Transportation, and the project consultants Felsburg, Holt and Ullevig (FHU), NES, Summit Economics, Nolte Vertical Five (NV5), and Bachman pr were available during the open house to discuss the information presented. Approximately 70 members of the community attended.
The public was notified of the open house through a variety of avenues, including e-newsletters, email notices, posting on the project website, flyers distributed throughout the community, notifications distributed by other organizations, and various notices and articles in several local news media outlets, including the Colorado Springs Gazette, KRDO-TV, Westside Pioneer and the Cheyenne Mountain Edition.
Stations and Displays
The open house utilized numerous display boards organized in several stations. Below is a description of each station and the display boards that were included. The display boards can be downloaded by right (or option) clicking on the image and selecting “Save as.”
Station 1 - Welcome
Included a welcome board, an aerial board in which attendees could mark where they live and/or work, a list of the goals of the meeting and a board describing the coordination efforts of the project.
Station 2 - Project Purpose
This station provided the purpose for the project and a graphic describing the process and the project status.
Station 3 - Community Values
At this station, boards listed community values and provided space for meeting attendees to place stickers next to their top values. This station also included a board with examples of redevelopment in other communities.
Station 4 - Corridor Issues
This station included a map of the area showing existing conditions, including streets, trails, parks, parcels, etc. There were also boards that listed issues for each of the segments. Meeting attendees were able to place dots next to their top issues.
Station 5 - Traffic
The first board showed existing traffic conditions, such as volumes, accidents, vehicle speeds and vehicle classification. The second board described traffic characteristics of typical roadway sections.
Station 6 - Roadway Sections
This station featured an aerial map of the corridor displaying property boundaries and Right-of-Way widths. Accompanying this was a board that illustrated the right-of-way widths for typical road sections and the width needed for various roadside amenities.
Station 7 - Next Steps
This station consisted of a board describing what happens next in this task order and subsequent task orders, including design, construction and transfer of roadway ownership. Another board offered an explanation of the difference between annexation and the transfer of ownership included in this project’s statement of work. The final board described how attendees could stay connected via phone, email and website.
Public Comment Summary
The public was invited to submit comments regarding the project using a comment form provided at the meeting. The comment form asked for input on several specific issues such as traffic and bike lanes and provided space for written comments. Twenty-three comment forms were submitted at the open house. Information was also provided on how to submit comments after the meeting by mail, email or accessing the project website.
The first two questions asked for input on two considerations — traffic and bike lanes.
Based on the information provided at this open house, please mark the improvements that make the most sense to you (more than one may apply).
Segment 2 traffic (not including the US 24 interchange or the area between N 32nd and N 31st streets)
- Two-way left turn lane (reduces rear end accidents and traffic friction).
- 4 lanes of traffic (greater property impacts, reduced travel times)
- 2 lanes of traffic
- No Opinion
Of note, among the 13 respondents who answered “Two-way left turn lane,” only one respondent designated that it should be a 4-lane road. And of the four respondents who chose “2 lanes of traffic,” three designated it should have a two-way left turn lane. Nine who answered “Two-way left turn lane” did not indicate how many lanes they preferred. As a result, we can infer that the number of lanes is a less significant question than that of including a two-way left turn lane.
Bike Lanes on the Corridor
- Bike lane on both sides
- Bike lane on the uphill side only
- No bike lanes
- I don't have an opinion
Attendees were given the opportunity to select small group working sessions for other potential improvements in which they’d like to provide input. Most respondents were interested in working on creek improvements.
The next question on the comment form was:
Please identify three of the corridor transportation infrastructure issues that are most important to you:
“Other” included housing, underground utilities, and sidewalks.
General Public Comment Summary
The following is a general list of the public comments received in conjunction with the September 18, 2012 open house as of September 28, 2012. They are divided by general topic and the order does not reflect priority or importance. Comments have been summarized to reduce the length of this document. The project team will consider public comment throughout the project development process.
Need for the Project
Several comments were in regard to the need for the project. One comment was that the area was run down but “has promise.”
There were several comments in regard to the trails and the creek. A couple of comments suggested that more access points to the trails were needed. One asked if dredging the creek rather than building the sides up had been considered.
Several comments were in concern over the lack of sidewalks and the disrepair of existing sidewalks in the area.
There were several comments in regard to environment impacts, including wildlife.
Bridge on Columbia
One comment was concerned about the narrow bridge at Columbia.
Several comments were in regard to providing more lighting in the area, mostly for safety reasons, although one comment was about adding more aesthetically pleasing lighting such as in Old Colorado City.
Several comments were in regard to the general run down look or disrepair of the area and the need for improvements/redevelopment. One commenter was concerned about the types of redevelopment that would be allowed. She was concerned that the area not become like Academy Boulevard.
There were a couple of comments in regard to traffic in the corridor, including suggestions to slow down speeds, direct through traffic to US 24, and even to limit the types of vehicles (e.g. no semi-trucks).
Several comments addressed safety issues, including bicyclists, pedestrians and just general safety along the corridor.
Two comments were in regard to concerns about panhandlers and the homeless.
There were a few comments concerned about property impacts. One commenter was concerned about their home being impacted during this process. Another wanted to ensure that there was easy access to his business.
One commenter suggested public transit via a trolley along the corridor.