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Reader: Manitou should care about the people who live here 

A three-story parking garage in the center of town here in Manitou? What's going on here? Since Marc Snyder left office as mayor we've seen the raping of all the cottonwoods along Fountain Creek, not to mention the old American elms on Cañon Avenue. Majestic markers of time, reduced to mulch. Now, a proposed parking garage in the Wichita lot, smack dab in the middle of town.

Yeah right, a survey says 80 percent of business owners think it's a grand idea. Excuse me, but most of us actually live here, unlike most of the business owners. Why weren't we asked about this hare-brained idea?

We are the ones who will have to deal with hundreds of vehicles piling out onto Manitou Avenue at Pawnee in the summer, a procession of polluting vehicles driving in circles to leave town. Plus the big rigs hauling in all the crap to build it for months and months, the noise and polluting debris. The parking structure will just add to the congestion, and come winter it will sit there, a vacant block of concrete, collecting icicles and snow, an attractive bed site for the homeless.

This is the worst proposal put out by Council in the 20-plus years I've lived here. Ironically, Council approved $5,000 for a pollution monitor for the Drake Power Plant in Colorado Springs, when the automobile pollution here in summer [is already toxic] and adding on this garage will make it worse.

If anywhere, Hiawatha Gardens should be the obvious choice for expanded parking. Eliminate the old Tajine Alami building and make it an entrance to downtown Manitou (no garage please), with restrooms, landscaping, a fountain, bike rentals and more parking — a hub and info center.

There's already plenty of parking for such a small town. If you agree, please voice your displeasure. As the song by Joni Mitchell says, "You don't know what you got till it's gone."

— Ro Floyd, Manitou Springs

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