Friday, September 7, 2012

Speak up about 'No Man's Land'

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 11:43 AM

The area known as No Mans Land.
  • The area known as "No Man's Land."

Most famously known as "No Man's Land," the stretch of Colorado Avenue west of 31st Street to Manitou Springs has long been a headache.

Multiple governmental owners mean little accountability for the upkeep and law enforcement in the area, and that's led to urban decay, crime, and panhandling. But now a plan is being developed that could beautify the area.

Comment on it at this Sept. 18 meeting.

Westside Avenue Action Plan Community Open House is Sept. 18
Community Encouraged to Learn About Project, Provide Input

Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sept. 5, 2012) — A Community Open House has been scheduled for Sept. 18 for the Westside Avenue Action Plan, which is assessing transportation infrastructure improvements to West Colorado and Manitou avenues between N. 31st Street and the US 24 interchange.

Westside Avenue Action Plan Community Open House:
When: 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 18
Where: Memorial Hall, Manitou Springs City Hall, 606 Manitou Ave.

The open house provides community members a chance to meet project team members, learn first-hand about this transportation infrastructure study and provide valuable input. The resulting plan will lead to infrastructure improvements which best support long term economic revitalization for the corridor.

“This will be the broader community’s first chance to meet the project team and learn more about the Westside Avenue Action Plan,” said Andre Brackin, El Paso County Engineer and the County’s project manager for the study. “The team has collected a lot of information and learned about community values and corridor issues during previous meetings, which will help shape the team’s recommendation.

“During this open house, the team will share some of what they’ve learned to this point while answering questions and collecting feedback from area residents, business owners and other interested parties,” Brackin said. “The more people understand about this effort and the more they participate in the process the better the chance to positively influence the future economic vitality of the area.”

A Stakeholder Committee, which first met Aug. 6, provided the study team some valuable input. Representatives of organizations, business groups, citizens and other constituents in the study area explored community values and examine existing issues in the 1.5-mile corridor along West Colorado and Manitou avenues.

“It's important that transportation and infrastructure improvements for the corridor be planned with a long-term community vision,” Brackin said. “The project team challenged the stakeholders to visualize the corridor in 25 years; how should it look and how should it function.”

To better understand the potential for improvements, attendees looked at many examples of revitalization and streetscape enhancements in other communities. The presentation, other documents and photos from the Stakeholder Committee meeting are available online at:
The Westside Avenue Action Plan is a collaborative effort among El Paso County, the cities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, the Colorado Department of Transportation, and residents, businesses, community groups and other stakeholders. Construction funding for this project is on the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority Extension “A list” of projects. If approved by voters this November, this study will position the project to move ahead quickly with construction.

Goals of the Westside Avenue Action Plan recommendations are to:

•Provide for safe and efficient transportation along the corridor
•Create a compatible link between the two vibrant historic districts of Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs
•Serve as a catalyst for economic development and other future corridor improvements

To receive periodic progress e-newsletters and learn how to get involved, visit the project website and click the Weigh In link to be added to the contact list, or call the project message box at 719.629.7566 and leave your contact information.
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