Westsiders’ Hwy 24 task force continues data hunt

       A Westside citizens task force got mixed results from an April 20 meeting with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), plans to meet again with CDOT and the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) May 2 and will follow up with a public meeting May 4.
       “We have things we agree on and things we don't,” summed up Welling Clark, vice-president of the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), who has been coordinating the task force effort.
       He hopes that the May 2 meeting will address what he terms “data validity issues” with the PPACG traffic projections that CDOT is using.
       Then, at the May 4 meeting - starting at 7 p.m. at the Gold Hill police substation, 955 W. Moreno Ave. - “we'll tell the citizens what we found,” Clark said.
       Based on projected traffic increases averaging just under 50 percent along the I-25-to-Manitou study area, CDOT's conceptual plans call for a roughly $240 million expressway that includes a flyover from I-25, major interchanges at 8th and 21st streets, greatly widened at-grade intersections at 26th and 31st streets and an expanded Manitou interchange. Depending on which of various CDOT alternatives are used, 50 or so homes or businesses would be impacted and/or removed by the project.
       The citizens task force is calling for a smaller-scale highway upgrade - with minimal home/business loss - that would use a new interchange on Gold Hill Mesa property between 8th and 21st to lighten the load on both intersections, thus preventing the need for interchanges at either one.
       The citizen agreement so far with CDOT has been on the need for a full-access overpass at Ridge Road. This would solve that intersection's safety problems and help relieve 31st Street, Clark said.
       Long-term, he said a goal for the task force is to initiate a partnership in a “joint technical working group” with CDOT as it more tightly engineers the project.
       CDOT plans the eighth in its series of public open houses on its plans Wednesday, May 10, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the West Intergenerational Center, 25 N. 20th St. The meeting will be the first since CDOT announced the road will not become a freeway.

Westside Pioneer article