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Ridge Road closed between Colorado and Pikes Peak avenues; WAAP ‘trail plaza’ coming

       With Colorado and Pikes Peak avenues scarcely 100 feet apart at Ridge Road - not to mention the height difference between them or Ridge being offset on either side of Colorado - a city traffic engineer once called the layout an “odd duck.”
       That “duck” is ceasing to fly. The schedule calls for its closure Monday, Jan. 8.
       As part of previously announced Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) work, the short-block segment of Ridge between Colorado and Pikes Peak “will be transformed into a transit and trail plaza with bus, pedestrian and bicycle services,” a press release states.
       Eventually, also as part of WAAP, the Colorado-Ridge intersection will become a T-intersection with a stoplight. Colorado Springs traffic planners have previously said that without the above-mentioned closure, there would not be room for a light.
       (See article in Stories of the Year above for more WAAP info).
       Regarding Ridge's access into the Garden of the Gods, city engineers have previously said that only locals (and a few commuters) go that way, or even know about it.
       The press release quotes Dennis Barron, project manager for El Paso County, that the plaza “will improve the aesthetic of the area [as well as] overall traffic flow, with the addition of a bus lane for pickup and drop-off that will be coordinated with traffic signal phasing.”
       Other features, the press release adds, will be an “aesthetic wall between Pikes Peak and Colorado Avenues, street lighting, sidewalks, landscaping, bike racks, a bike-repair vending machine and a Mountain Metro queue jump [pull-off lane for city buses].
       Cutting off Ridge Road between Colorado and Pikes Peak was originally suggested by City Traffic Engineering in 2014, and designed with the help of Felsburg, Holt and Ullevig, the planning consultant hired for WAAP. The concept did not trigger citizen opposition, either at a neighborhood meeting that year or (as details emerged) during the WAAP public process.

Westside Pioneer article