David E 
Member since Feb 18, 2015


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Re: “One class of landowner would get special treatment under city’s stormwater fees

The proposal is more fair than this article portrays it: natural groundcover is absorbent, pavement is non-absorbent, therefore it is reasonable that owners of lots of pavement should pay more to cover the costs of stormwater. The flat per-property fee is necessary because the biggest owner of paved spaces is us, the people of Colorado Springs - we own more than 5,600 miles of paved roads!

If you want to find something truly unfair in this bill, then you should protest the fact that it does nothing to incentivize smaller parking lots, fewer lane miles, and limits on development to the east. As it stands, this bill addresses current problems, but doesn't stop the issue from recurring in future decades.

8 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by David E on 09/13/2017 at 10:53 AM

Re: “Colorado Springs’ neglect of its stormwater system leaves huge caverns citywide

This is a good article and an important point that many people miss: Colorado Springs needs to spend more on stormwater because we failed to in the past. If anyone wants to see another dramatic example of a deep canyon studded with protruding pipes, try hiking the drainage along the northern side of Pulpit Rock Open Space.

Regardless of how you feel about the current proposed stormwater measure (it has issues), we should all be able to agree on the undeniable fact that we have a major stormwater problem that needs to be addressed.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by David E on 09/13/2017 at 10:30 AM

Re: “Suthers kicks off Colorado Springs stormwater ballot measure campaign

I strongly favor spending more money on stormwater, and honoring our commitments as a city - but I'm not sure I can vote for this measure.

Bruce is almost right when he says the bill is not fair, almost, because much of the stormwater problem is caused by our extreme amount of paved road miles per capita, not just buildings or driveways, so it's not entirely unfair that the tax rates aren't based on the individual's property size/value. The more concerning thing about this bill is that it doesn't address the root cause of sprawling development and under-investment that led to the funding issues. It's sadly true that ultimately, the taxpayers of Colorado Springs will end up paying for the past sins of development one way or another, but if we're going to pay we ought to see some kind of compensatory rule change that prevents the same problem from having to be addressed again in 20-30 years.

My suggestion? Let's establish an outer boundary for development in El Paso County: no more new single-family housing allowed in El Paso County anywhere east of Powers unless it's on a lot of at least 1 acre. This would give developers and landowners a very strong incentive to redevelop and densify existing areas, especially blighted zones within the city - this would be a huge win/win, increasing the tax base of the city with minimal public investment, maximizing use of our greatest asset (proximity to beautiful mountains), and with this would come a huge range of extra benefits down the line (better police response times, less pollution, more efficient transport networks, etc.).

7 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by David E on 08/31/2017 at 12:06 PM

Re: “Region must be proactive on transportation, and here's how to do it

Trying to fix the Front Range transportation problem by building a wider I-25 is like trying to fix obesity by putting on a larger pair of pants - if we don't address the problem of over reliance on a single, highly-inefficient mode of travel, then it doesn't really matter who leads the effort, it will be a temporary solution at best.

18 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by David E on 05/17/2017 at 11:06 AM

Re: “A solution for improving Colorado's roads and bridges

The problem with our transportation infrastructure isn't lack of funding, it's that we spend the funds we already have in an extremely wasteful manner: adding more miles of pavement, or extra lanes to a busy road, intuitively makes sense as a way to reduce congestion and travel times, but in practice building more roadway always invites more traffic over time ("induced demand") and so we get a very temporary benefit at very high cost. If the goal is to improve network capacity and average speeds within and between cities, we should not be throwing money at one of the least efficient modes of intra-city transport available and should instead be investing heavily in commuter rail, buses, and infrastructure that invites walking and cycling (the exact opposite of what we have now, infrastructure which imposes extra burdens on anyone not traveling via automobile).

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by David E on 03/17/2017 at 1:13 PM

Re: “Castle Rock's example of building great parks with diverse funding

This may be the first time I've disagreed with anything Mr. Falcone has written, but in this case I don't think Colorado Springs should be faulted in this case:
The way that people use parks (and recreate in general) has changed dramatically over time - Garden of the Gods used to have observation platforms drilled into several of the rock formations, there used to be a dance/picnic pavilion just below Cheyenne Canyon, and much of Monument Valley Park goes unused because it was designed for the way people liked to stroll in the 1890's. On the positive side, the city hasn't actually stopped keeping up with some of the recent trends, we have do have BMX/Freestyle/DJ bike parks, Pickleball courts, frisbee golf courses, and modern playgrounds in the most popular parks.
The kind of development currently taking place in Castle Rock is a very modern kind of style based on the way people currently want to use parks (as outdoor fitness centers heavy on the equipment). How much do you want to bet that all the things they're putting in now will still be popular in 30 years when trends have changed again? If anything, Colorado Springs is incredibly fortunate that our current park system is open, simple, and adaptable. We have our many neighborhood parks and some fantastic open spaces which have retained their charm and utility for many decades even if they lack the latest fancy amenities.
If the city is to be faulted for anything, it's that the further south and further east you go, the amount of space set aside as parkland decreases and parks are often isolated instead of being part of a more continuous system - but those are flaws associated with the sprawling development, not specifically the result of a failure to seek out more public-private park development. Yes, we need more parks, and yes, the parks need more funding to preserve what we already have (have you seen the erosion occurring in north Pulpit Rock O.S. caused by inadequate stormwater drainage?), but building fancy new facilities in select public parks isn't going to save the system - in fact it might actually draw off funds that could be used better elsewhere.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by David E on 02/26/2017 at 9:57 AM

Re: “U.S. Olympic Museum wants money from Colorado Springs

Look on the bright side: we now know just how desperate the Olympic museum project is for funding, and as citizens protesting the use of public funds, we're getting an opportunity to put another nail in the coffin of a bad idea.

20 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by David E on 01/14/2017 at 1:22 AM

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