Midland Trail to reach 25th St.
Property issues slow plans to build farther west this year

       Some details and property agreements still need to be worked out, but Colorado Springs Parks plans on extending the Midland Trail west this year at least to 25th Street.
       From its current end point at 21st Street, the trail will cross to the west side of the street - possibly with a traffic light - then continue south on 21st as a 10-foot wide walkway before crossing the Fountain Creek bridge, according to City Trails Coordinator Jeff Haley.
       The city's long-term goal is to have the trail follow Fountain Creek west from there. The creek runs behind (north of) the businesses along the north side of Naegele Road. However, because agreements with the Naegele property owners are still being worked out, the city's “short-term alignment,” as Haley put it, will be along Naegele itself. No sidewalk is there now, but the city has an easement that will allow a trail/sidewalk of 10 feet wide on the south side of that street, he said.
       One part, where the fence around the Dee's RVs lot comes to the edge of Naegele, is a little narrow. Haley said it will be necessary to encroach into the street a bit to get the trail through there.
       At 25th Street, Naegele ends. The 21st-to-25th segment is part of what the city calls Phase 2 of the Midland Trail (going from 21st to 31st Street). From 25th to 31st, the route is more iffy, in terms of alignment and property issues, and for those reasons Haley said it is not likely that segment will be built this year.
       Dee Corum, who owns Dee's RVs on Naegele, said there have been six meetings so far between the city and Naegele property owners about the trail. He said he holds no major objections - nor has he heard any from other business owners - to the short-term alignment.
       Phase 2 of the Midland Trail project is being funded from city Trails and Open Space (TOPS) sales tax funds and federal grant money. The ultimate plan is to continue the trail to Manitou Springs.
       Phase 1 was built in 2004, going east from 21st Street to Chestnut Street and under I-25 into America the Beautiful Park. This first segment, chiefly following the former Denver & Rio Grande railroad right of way, is 16 feet wide - 12 feet of concrete and 4 feet of crushed gravel (generally used by runners and horses).
       With the 21st-to-25th segment to be narrower and not to have the crushed gravel, the city still has not decided if horses will be allowed there, Haley said. Also uncertain is whether there should be a pedestrian-activated light where the trail crosses 21st.
       These questions are being worked with City Traffic Engineering, but no final decision on horses or a 21st Street stoplight will be made without some sort of public process, Haley said.

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