‘Single Vision’ for Greenway June 26

       “A Single Vision” for a Westside greenway along Highway 24 will be presented by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and its consultants at a public open house Tuesday, June 26 from 5 to 7 p.m.
       The location will be Bancroft Park in Old Colorado City - chosen because of the tie-in with the meeting's subject matter, according to Kyle Blakely, a communications consultant with the CDOT planning team.
       “We were trying to come up with something fun,” he said. “With the greenway vision, we thought, 'Let's do it outside.' And the park has a couple of covered places if it rains.”
       Unlike the last open house in March, at which attendees were asked to consider ideas from three concepts showing different levels of park development and flood- plain control, this session will have one plan (the CDOT-dubbed “Single Vision”) that people can comment on.
       However, Blakely pointed out that the expectation is not to fully solidify the plan as a consequence of the open house. A continuing goal is to find (or create) a non- profit entity that would take on future leadership role for greenway planning/funding and possibly spur changes of its own.
       Thus, afterward, meetings of the greenway committee (led by CDOT team members and aided by staffers from area governments and citizens from around the city), will continue. The CDOT Funding is coming from the same $8.5 million planning budget that the state has allocated to develop an Environmental Assessment (EA) for an expanded highway between I-25 and Manitou Springs.
       The final version of what will be presented at the open house is still under construction. Meetings of the greenway committee and the avenue task force June 13 and 20 are expected to contribute to Single Vision presentation ideas for the area west of 31st Street, Blakely said.
       The avenue task force is an informal group, with members including County Commissioner Sallie Clark and representatives of Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs in the so-called “No Man's Land” between the two cities' limits along Colorado Avenue. The idea is to integrate ongoing No Man's planning efforts with those of the highway/greenway, Clark has explained.
       The greenway concept stems from the idea that land along Fountain Creek, which would have to be purchased for the Highway 24 project anyway, could combine with existing or planned public areas to create an unbroken span of trails, open space and educational/recreational areas between the interstate and Manitou.
       Meanwhile, Highway 24 expansion plans are on hold while awaiting a final report on traffic numbers based on traffic projections for the year 2035, Blakely said.

Westside Pioneer article