Letter: Pleased to see 'West End' project coming togetherI certainly appreciate the very clear explanation presented in your article concerning the West End project (“WAAP works through issues - 'No Man's Land' construction to start after mid-2016,” posted on the Westside Pioneer website Nov. 25, 2015), which has been talked about by former and present government officials for well over a decade.
I can remember that our vision to see the re-development of this segment of Colorado/Manitou Avenue started at least as far back as 2001, when Manitou Springs began its plan for the upgrade of the downtown area. There was often talk about the critical need to make improvements of the area around the entrance to Manitou Springs and the far Westside. It seemed the perfect solution to a better business climate and certainly a safer situation for people on foot. It was hardly quaint to see our neighbors, tourists and children, walking along the avenue, with its broken and narrow sidewalks or no sidewalks at all, getting splashed when it rains and trying to avoid cars while going to stores, work or school.
Some families with children live in the motels, and without a school bus to pick them up serious accidents would have occurred over the past few years.
We know that work-force housing is very tight in our community and avenue housing is very much in need of upgrading. Manitou Springs created an Urban Renewal Authority several years ago. We hope that this wonderful upgrade will prompt developers and property owners to consider major improvements and offer some attractive and affordable housing.
Of course, small businesses will benefit, with new opportunities for an attractive entrance to Manitou Springs and the far Westside as well.
Let's hope our community continues to see the benefit of this needed project and that the collaboration of Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs and El Paso County will bring results very soon.
Marcy Morrison is a former Manitou Springs mayor and El Paso County commissioner.
(Posted 12/5/15; Opinion: Letters)