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Between recent snowfalls, the whitened summit of Pikes Peak appeared to be floating in the clouds in a morning view from the second-floor deck of the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center off 30th Street. At left is Gateway Road, which is the main access into the city park (from 30th).
Westside Pioneer photo

Garden of the Gods shuttle options to go before public at March 12 'open house'

Feb. 23, 2018
       A gathering described as an "open house" Monday, March 12 will let the public see a city-contracted study's proposed ideas for a Garden of the Gods shuttle service.
       The meeting will be at the Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St. from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with a “brief presentation” at 6, a press release states.
      
In an access-control process that so far is separate from the shuttle study, City Parks in the past year has installed gates at three of the four entrances to the Garden of the Gods. The one here is on Ridge Road just past Temple Drive. No gate has been designed yet for Gateway Road, and none of the installed gates are being used yet.
Westside Pioneer file photo
The study was conducted over the past year by the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center under a contract with Colorado Springs Parks, with funding from the Garden of the Gods Foundation.
       The press release lists the study's "key elements," as follows:
       · No change in the traditional free access to the Garden of the Gods.
       · Shuttle service proposed between Rock Ledge Ranch, the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center and Garden of the Gods Park,
       · New ADA accessible trail proposed along the north side of Gateway Road.
       · Increased parking proposed at Rock Ledge Ranch.
       The release also notes that for eventual implementation an “incremental approach utilizing pilot programs is planned in order to gauge impact.”
       Quoted in the release is City Parks Administration Manager Kim King: “We know Garden of the Gods is a jewel in our parks system, and therefore it is vital that we work to take care of it, improve accessibility and protect it from the excessive environmental impact caused by high traffic numbers. We hope to explore several alternative transportation options to improve the overall visitor experience.”
       The study was prompted by increasing numbers of park visitors, most of them in cars, with a 2017 city estimate of 5.8 million people. A statement from City Parks last fall pledged that a shuttle service will “alleviate congestion, improve emissions, enhance access and provide a better visitor experience to Garden of the Gods Park.”
       Working with Volpe on the study have been entities with vested interests in the Garden, including City Parks, the foundation, Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center, Friends of Garden of the Gods (FOGG) and the City Parks Advisory Board, according to previously provided city information.

Westside Pioneer article
(Outdoors: Garden of the Gods)

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