Support for Westsiders’ Option
A Westside couple copied the Pioneer on their letter to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) regarding Westside Highway 24. It appears below, edited slightly for space.

       Dear CDOT:
       You've asked for input on your Highway 24 West project. I wholeheartedly support the “Westsiders' Option” spelled out in the March 9 issue of the Westside Pioneer newspaper. This plan is supported by the Organization of Westside Neighbors, as written in the Westside Story's spring 2006 issue.
       Since the first CDOT meeting I attended in November 2005,1 could not confidently support in full any of your proposed plans for the highway. I have found the greater parts of your plans neither practical for Westside Colorado Springs nor considerate of Old Colorado City property or business owners on the route. For one example, I
       could not understand your desire to make an exit off Highway 24 at 30th Street when there is already an exit at 31st Street. And at 30th Street, there is a well- established restaurant in your way.
       When I read the Pioneer's proposed plan for “remodeling” Westside Highway 24, I was thrilled with its practicality and wise consideration for local residents and business owners. I knew that I could back that proposal with confidence and finally have some practical input to offer you.
       For vehicle traffic at Ridge Road, making a left turn across the highway going either east or west is pretty difficult and chancy most of the time. Also, little to nothing practical has been done or fully proposed to aid pedestrian and bicyclist traffic across the highway, especially at 8th Street, 21st Street, 26th Street and Ridge Road Throughout the Westside, many people walk or ride bicycles. If you modernize and fix up the Highway 24 West exit off 1-25, make effective, long off- and on-lanes along Hwy. 24 West, build a highway overpass at Ridge Road, build a bike-type path/trail along the highway, and build walkways over the highway to keep pedestrians and bicyclists up off Highway 24 at intersections. Traffic will move quite smoothly along that highway to and from the mountains. In addition, trails and vegetation along the highway would greatly add to the attractiveness of the route, and that is one excellent use for taxpayers' money.
       I will help in any way I can to see that the “Westsiders' Option” is the plan that is adopted for beneficial changes to Highway 24 West from 1-25 to Manitou Springs, Colorado.


Ben J. Bell
Randa E. Bell