Majority of attendees opposed the 2 build options at Nov. 10 Highway 24 open house

       Written responses at the Nov. 10 open house on Westside Highway 24 showed more people opposed than in favor of the expressway and freeway alternatives that were unveiled that evening.
       The responses, made available to the media this week, came from many of the 229 who came to the meeting and signed in. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and its consultants encouraged the attendees to anonymously fill out CDOT- provided opinion forms and comment on the three alternatives (no action, expressway or freeway).
       Afterward, CDOT and its consultants recorded these responses. The Westside Pioneer perused them and tabulated the following results:
       No action:
       Yes - 24; No - 21; Maybe - 2; Question or indirect response- 11.
       Expressway
       Yes - 14; No - 24; No (because they like freeway better) - 4; Maybe - 3; Question or indirect response - 13.
       Freeway
       Yes - 22; No - 28; Maybe - 16; Question or indirect response - 2.
       In addition, several responses asked for better accesses to Old Colorado City and to Ridge Road; worried about noise impacts, and opposed the state suggestion for roundabouts on Colorado Avenue.
       The Pioneer lacks space to run all the responses, but below are some that represent the pros and cons on the three options.
      
       No action
       “My concern for the No Action is that the interchange at 1-25 and Highway 24 is a bottleneck in peak hours during the week. This is also a problem late afternoons on Sunday during the summer.”
       “This is the way to go. The committed improvements seem sufficient enough to mitigate traffic without destroying the Westside. Some slowing is a viable tradeoff for preserving homes and businesses. I would advocate adding an extra eastbound lane from 21st on to the interstate. This direction generally is the busiest and this upgrade would not radically affect existing homes and businesses.”
       “This option seems unrealistic, given continued growth in our city. And already there are so many problems with US 24; it seems unreasonable to let them go unfixed only to get worse.”
       “Your traffic growth estimates were based on a housing boom and population boom fueled by interest rates at a 46-year low. This period of growth will end very soon, given the Federal Reserve's steady rate increases - leading to a reduction of growth. This No Action alternative is therefore the best, as well as fiscally prudent.”
       Expressway
       “Not necessary to change so many people's places of work and living. Make longer off-ramps and it will be better. Crosswalks, maybe that will help pedestrian traffic be safer crossing 24.”
       “ 'If you build it, they will come.' But they will come anyway. Would be a way to buy out and clear out many of the trashy businesses between 8th & 21st Streets. That would be a plus.”
       “How will residents of the Midland Area be able to deal with the traffic? Sounds like they will have to reroute their way in and out of the neighborhood.”
       “Widen and improve traffic flow between Manitou Springs and Woodland Park. Otherwise what's the point? Traffic flow bogs down traveling out Manitou Springs going West.”
       Freeway
       “Too fast of traffic to go nowhere. To hit the Ute Pass and fall down to two lanes again. This solution will be very negative. A great economic impact will be felt in Old Colorado City if 26th has no access.”
       “Yes - keep traffic moving with underpasses, overpasses and fly-bys...This is the best, workable option and I feel most visionary for the future.”
       “This alternative would destroy the physical integrity of the Westside, contribute to noise, pollution, and lead to traffic bottlenecks at Manitou where the ascent begins and the road narrows to two lanes. It's the worst option.”
       “The best solution. This allows the through traveler the best chance to get going easily while allowing 'local' people their needed access for entrance and exit. It also allows a coordinated design with the new US 24/125 interchange.”
      
       General comments
       “If either a 'freeway' or 'expressway' is selected, there should be an underpass or two at Ridge Road for auto access, pedestrian, bike trail and wildlife. There is a huge amount of wildlife accidents in this area. I have witnessed many during the last 18 years.”
       “We don't need most of these things. How many people will really ride an express bus route? Preserve the Westside!”
       “There needs to be a fourth alternative. I feel that these solutions proposed are not practical for the Westside. The Westside is a unique place and we need to keep it unique with a nice, peaceful roadway to get from point A to point B.”
       “I represent over 100 businesses located in Old Colorado City between 24th and 28th streets. We strongly oppose any proposal for Highway 24 that would eliminate a very important access to Old Colorado City from Highway 24 and 26th Street.”

Westside Pioneer article/press release