Trolley Foundation likes 2-lane idea for Colorado Avenue
A recent suggestion for two-laning Colorado Avenue through Old Colorado City has hardly received universal praise, but one entity in favor of it is the Pikes Peak
Historical Street Railway Foundation.
The attraction is the center lane that would be created for left turners in a two-lane arrangement. That lane could also be used for trolleys, according to foundation president Dave Lippincott.
“The tracks would be immensely cheaper to install,” he said. “Using the middle would cut our cost for going down Colorado by two-thirds.”
The savings would come from needing only a single track (with an occasional passing track) instead of one on each side of the street, plus not needing to relocate the underground utility lines (also on the sides of the road) or the old track that was encased in concrete (between 7th and 22nd streets) after the Westside's streetcar service ended in 1932.
The foundation's goal is to run trolleys from its museum and internal track system east of I-25 off Fillmore Street south to the downtown and then follow the old streetcar route along Colorado Avenue through Old Colorado City to a turnaround in Manitou Springs. The private volunteer foundation has spent several years refurbishing old streetcars and seeking easements for this purpose.
The two-lane road suggestion, offered by the Westside Pioneer, had been for just the three blocks of Old Colorado City (24th to 27th Street), but the Trolley Foundation would like to see two lanes all the way from the downtown, Lippincott noted.
Based on feedback the Pioneer has received, neither scenario is very likely to happen. Most people have expressed the opinion that necking down Colorado Avenue traffic from four to two lanes through Old Town is a bad idea that would cause traffic jams on a busy street. The Pioneer had suggested consideration of the change largely because the Manitou Springs downtown - also a historic commercial district with independent merchants - has tried it and seems to like the way drivers slow down and appreciate what the stores have to offer.
Westside Pioneer article