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A graphic with engineered measurements presents the difference between the existing and proposed ditch and road layout along 31st Street through Pleasant Valley. Note, for example, that the ditch width is 40 feet now and would become 63 feet to meet flood-control needs.
Courtesy of Colorado Springs Engineering

Letter: From 'ditch' to 'linear park' in Pleasant Valley

       I have lived on the Westside for 30 years and have traveled down 31st Street frequently. I have always believed that this unattractive drainage ditch could be turned into a beautiful linear park, a concept not unlike the south end of Shook's Run.
       Obviously, the linear width that the project has to work with is limited, and therefore the design should give serious thought to optimizing the width of the "linear park portion" without causing significant inconvenience to others.
       I've studied the graphic with the city's planned engineering measurements [as displayed in the May-August Westside Pioneer print edition and also in color above], and it appears to be relatively on track, but I believe there are workable options to widen the existing "linear park" portion of the proposed width. (I think that's of paramount importance.)
       My recommendations:
       1) Narrow the sidewalks to 4 feet. Gain 2 feet.
       2) Narrow parkways to 5 feet. Gain 4 feet (maintain current trees).
       3) Keep existing width of travel lane at 12.5 feet. Gain 3 feet.
       4) Narrow trail to 10 feet. Gain 2 feet (less concrete, more green, and does not impact total width).
       This proposal offers a precious 9 feet to the linear park. Enough for more trees and foliage.
       I would also suggest speed bumps from Fontanero Street to Pike Peak Avenue.
       For those living on 31st, if this project emphasizes aesthetics as well as drainage issues, your relative home values should significantly increase.

       William W. Sopp

(Posted 7/13/14; Opinion: Letters)

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