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Colorado Springs transportation planing

Started by Elm, February 24, 2023, 12:00:14 AM

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Since 2020, Colorado Springs has been updating their transportation master plan, to be titled "ConnectCOS." The draft plan is ready and going through the final approval process, possibly to be adopted after city council readings on Feb 28 and March 14.

A lot of possible topics if anyone's interested, but I made some quick notes off of the thoroughfare plan, and wrote a blob on Constitution Avenue, which is the local hot topic.


There's a lot in ConnectCOS–something for everyone to hate, going by nearly anything written about it–but some of the interesting parts can be seen through the proposed major thoroughfare plan updates (an old one is here, but has some already-removed features, like University Park Blvd and most Banning-Lewis Ranch area roads):

  • MLK Bypass / Fountain Blvd (part of US 24) is changed from "freeway" to "major arterial" between Union and Powers Blvds (note that covers the already-freeway Union-past-Circle segment).
  • A route for the non-freeway B-L Pkwy is sketched out: south of US 24, it now heads east toward the Meridian Rd alignment instead of taking over part of existing Marksheffel Rd.
  • Platte Ave is changed from "expressway" to "major arterial" between Chelton and Powers. This relates to the Platte Ave Corridor Study, which also will likely be adopted in the next month or two.
  • Among the various Banning-Lewis Ranch changes, Bradley Rd is changed from "expressway" to "major arterial," except for between Goldfield Dr and Powers Blvd, where it's a collector or possibly removed.
  • The "parkway" road classification is removed (which was a sort of design-flexible 'major arterial plus' that typically included bike lanes and a raised median): "parkway" segments of Woodmen Rd and Austin Bluffs Pkwy become major arterials. Practically, probably doesn't affect anything since they're pretty built-up.
  • The South Powers extension corridor is shown, though that's probably just because the map goes further south. Nothing out of that study lately.
  • Not shown in the latest map, but worth a mention: a US 24 [east] routing study is proposed, which could shift it onto Woodmen Rd; an earlier draft thoroughfare map shows this by making Woodmen an "expressway" to I-25 and changing existing US 24 from "expressway" to "major arterial" between Woodmen and Powers. More about that also on page 42.

What's ended up as the headlining item is the Constitution Avenue extension concept, which has drowned out any other ConnectCOS topic in local news since the draft came out.

Among the proposed projects (unfunded) is an east-west mobility study for the area in the I-25/Fillmore/Union/Uintah box, and that would include evaluating connecting Constitution Ave at to I-25 at Fontanero, along a former railroad right-of-way that the city bought long ago as a possible roadway corridor (generally no less than ~130ft wide, excluding adjacent alley ROWs and tracts already dedicated for the Rock Island Trail). The ConnectCOS doc summaries the background and early neighborhood protections starting late page 42. This form of the Constitution Ave extension has been on the thoroughfare plan since 2002ish, when the last east-west mobility study ran and decided to wait to study Constitution until 2020.

Aside from all the ConnectCOS-general stuff, there've been two town hall meetings about the study, which produced this FAQ and these added changes. People opposed to the idea are now trying to get the study changed so it forbids a public roadway in the old railroad ROW from the beginning. City Council could go either way, but on their last reading, they leaned toward allowing the study to consider the full range of possibilities.

Edited to update slide deck link


So, basically the whole thing is a big "nothing burger," -with "progress" equaling more traffic lights and driveways being added to thoroughfares like US-24 from Powers Blvd going out East to Falcon. Woo hoo.


Quote from: Bobby5280 on February 25, 2023, 11:44:52 AMSo, basically the whole thing is a big "nothing burger," -with "progress" equaling more traffic lights and driveways being added to thoroughfares like US-24 from Powers Blvd going out East to Falcon. Woo hoo.

"Not so," a presenter might say. "There's something for the driver and multimodal traveler here. Everyone is accommodated." But in practice, yeah--probably not enough effort in any particular direction to have a substantial effect, and the city'll continue to fall a bit more behind as each year goes by.

Take the PPRTA renewal (transportation sales tax) that was approved last year. There're definitely worthwhile projects in there that many people would love to see, but many of them are things where a 2022 voter would say "wow, I wish that happened five years ago," and this renewal doesn't start until 2025.

About the possible US 24 rerouting, I keep coming back to this line in the document which seems so bizarre: "The state highway that evolves to suburban freeway may not be a model consistent with the community's vision." Not sure what community they found to claim that, but that goes against everything I've heard or experienced about that road.


PS: On the first ConnectCOS adoption vote, the city council amended it to exclude Constitution Avenue from the mobility study. Final vote March 14.

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