Hwy 24: The pedestrian overpass

       In the fall of 2004, the Westside Pioneer initiated an “editorial campaign” to include a pedestrian overpass at 25th Street as part of any improvements the state planned for Westside Highway 24. The idea was to provide a safer non-motorized connection between the Midland area and Old Colorado City.
       This effort included gathering more than 50 signatures from Midland residents and obtaining formal or informal support from various potentially affected entities, including the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group, Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) and the West Intergenerational Center.
       So where does the idea stand now, with the state's proposed alternatives for expanding the highway? It's probably too early to say, but CDOT's current alternatives/ options for the 6 ˝-mile segment show no pedestrian overpasses at any point.
       Asked about this at a recent CDOT meeting with OCCA, state engineering consultant Mary Jo Vobejda said that pedestrian overpasses quite often are not used. When it was pointed out that people commonly cross the highway at 25th now (having broken through the chain-link fence on both sides of the highway to do so), Vobejda said that even when such overpasses exist, people often continue cutting across the highway instead.
       For pedestrians or bicyclists now, the most direct (legal) route between Midland and Old Colorado City is the crossing at 26th Street. Under the state freeway alternative, that intersection would become a no-access interchange, which would allow unimpeded car and foot traffic along 26th. However, the merchants oppose this plan because they fear economic hardship if they lose the 26th Street access from the highway. While the state's expressway alternative (keeping an at-grade intersection) would allow such access, the road would be about twice as wide as it is today.
       Because of the safety concerns implicit in that scenario, the Pioneer will continue to pursue the 25th Street pedestrian overpass in the continuing public process on the highway.

Westside Pioneer article