EDITORíS DESK: Friends for No Manís Land?
At last, it's starting to look as though No Man's Land has friends. For the past few years, as government leaders wrung their hands and Colorado/Manitou Avenue from 31st Street west kept crumbling, an undeniable perception started settling in: Nobody really cared about No Man's Land. That allegation, of
course, would be hotly denied by various individuals who work for the four jurisdictions in that area (Colorado Springs mainly on the north side of the avenue and El Paso County mainly on the south, up to Manitou Springs, which has both sides; and, lest we forget, the Colorado Department of Transportation, which
has the roadway itself as Business 24).
Yet the fact remains that the area had become a perfect government black hole. All entities agreed that public infrastructure had been neglected, so the obvious solution was to look for a Big Grant. However, Big Grants tend to be elusive, especially in these times when just about every local government is broke and seeking one too. To top it off, No Man's Land has developed a reputation as a place where a Big Project is coming. Thus, it got bypassed in a Route 3 bus-stop upgrade, in the recent Midland Trail extension and on any number of smaller improvements that might have been scheduled for the avenue's pavement, storm sewers, sidewalks or curb and gutter. (True, a $300,000 planning grant just came in, but there is no certainty that will ever lead to construction.)
In any case, No Man's Land did have streetlights... that is, until the city in its budgeting wisdom two years ago deactivated about half of them. Whether that aided the crime increase since then is unproveable, but we did remark in this space three weeks ago how "thrilled" we were when the city responded to ardent business pleas to reactivate the lights... by turning on one of them.
Well, now they are all back on. City officials, with straight faces, are saying they suddenly decided that stretch of the avenue would be ideal for a test of LED light fixtures. Whatever. The important thing is that key people got involved behind the scenes - something we saw with the planning grant and now with this. Almost like a light's been turned on. Let's hope it's not just a flare.