Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Good news, bad news in No Man's Land

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 11:12 AM

click to enlarge The roads and sidewalks in No Man's Land just can't. - BRADLEY FLORA
  • Bradley Flora
  • The roads and sidewalks in No Man's Land just can't.

Back in December, I wrote a story about the western section of Colorado and Manitou Avenues, popularly known as "No Man's Land" or "The Avenue."

Overlapped by confusing jurisdictions — county, state, Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs — the area has long been generally neglected. I should know. I drive through it every day.

But No Man's Land (or at least some of it, keep reading) is set for transformation, starting with a huge road project that will begin later this year. That's great. But trust me, it doesn't solve the more immediate problem. No Man's Land is basically one big pothole. Seriously, I don't know how the cops catch drunk drivers on this stretch, because every driver looks like a drunk when they're swerving every which way trying to protect their tires and their alignment. I stopped driving in the right lane of the eastbound side of the road month ago — because the lane is nearly nonexistent in places. 

Anyway, enough with my bitching. I come bearing some good news. The county is going to temporarily fix the road starting at 11:30 a.m. today. You see, No Man's Land may have its issues, but it is a major route for tourists. And the county doesn't want all of our tourists going home with horror stories about our roads.

So — and I never thought I'd say this — thank god for tourists.

On the not-so-positive side, Manitou Springs Mayor Marc Snyder is furious that Manitou will apparently be left out of much of the larger Westside Avenue transformation. Originally, the project was supposed to transform No Man's Land starting at the U.S. 24 bridge on the west side. Now, Snyder says that most of the Manitou stretch will be left out of the project. 

"Basically they just moved the goal posts and said, 'You know Manitou, too bad for you,'" Snyder says. "... It's just a real blow for us."

Snyder says Manitou was supposed to get $2 to $3 million for its share of the project, including street, sidewalk and streetscape improvements. It will be much less now. 

Snyder says he also wasn't invited to the kickoff for today's roadwork.
County Begins Maintenance Work Tuesday on West Colorado Avenue
Construction Work on Major Gateway Project Will Begin This Fall With Relocation of Utilities Lines

El Paso County, CO – April 12, 2015 – El Paso County Public Services will begin minor repair work on Tuesday April 13, 2015 to improve the road surface on Colorado Avenue from 31st Street to the U.S. 24 overpass in Manitou Springs. This is a critical corridor for summer tourism.

The maintenance and ownership of this 1.3 mile segment of Colorado Avenue was recently turned over from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to El Paso County. This is the first phase of an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between El Paso County, Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and CDOT that will result in major improvements along this stretch of roadway. But with the start date on the larger project still months away the County will be performing some badly needed maintenance to improve driving conditions on the road surface over the next several weeks.

Major improvements which are expected to begin with the relocation of utility lines this Fall will result in improved safety for cars, trucks and busses and provide badly needed accommodations for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Now known as the “Gateway Project” the “Westside Avenue Action Plan” has taken shape over the past three years and a final public meeting is expected this summer to discuss detailed improvement plans for the area.

A video presentation at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R08PH1ke2hc reviews the area and its huge importance to residents, businesses and visitors.

El Paso County Public Services reminds motorists to pay special attention to flaggers, reduced speed limits and construction zone traffic signs in “cone zones” during the heavy construction months ahead.

El Paso County Public Services is responsible for the maintenance of more than 2,000 miles of public roadway ranging from major thoroughfares in urban areas to gravel country roads and neighborhood cul-de-sacs. 

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