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Study including possible Old Colorado City lane reduction moves forward

       A $90,000 study of Colorado Avenue between 21st and 31st streets has been quietly moving forward over the past few months.
       Using Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) funds, the study by the Kimley-Horn consulting company was prompted by business
For the 2010 Territory Days in Old Colorado City, bike racks to accommodate those pedaling in were set up outside the Pikes Peak National Bank building. A question the Kimley-Horn consulting firm has asked business owners in the current study is how many bicyclists shop at their stores.
Westside Pioneer file photo
owners' proposal to neck down the avenue from four to two lanes through Old Colorado City, coupled with city transportation staffers' desire to include bike lanes.
       However, according to traffic specialist Ted Ritschard of Kimley-Horn, the study has a broader scope, which is to learn about any kinds of changes that business owners might want along that part of the avenue.
       To tap into such thoughts, he and his staff have been meeting with as many entrepreneurs as possible “so we'll be clear on what improvement goals we should try to accomplish,” he said in a recent interview with the Westside Pioneer.
       For a time, Kimley-Horn also had posted an online “Business Owner Survey,” which asked for feedback from such individuals on “what is/is not working well along Colorado Avenue” and to identify assets as well as aspects that need to be improved.
       Later this month or possibly in May, if a consensus of the business people has been reached for certain objectives, Kimley-Horn and the city will develop a proposal and “start rolling it out to a larger audience” (the general public), Ritschard said.
       On the other hand, if such business support does not emerge, then there may be no project at all, he noted.
       For close to five years, some business leaders have been advocating the reduction of avenue traffic lanes to one each way through Old Colorado City (defined basically as between 24th and 27th streets). This would be coupled with diagonal parking, in hopes of slowing traffic, increasing the number of on-street spaces and generally making OCC more amenable as a place to shop.
       The original merchant proposal also called for a center lane to allow turns or loading/unloading of deliveries. However, in supporting the two-lane idea, city transportation officials called for removal of the center lane to make space for bicycle lanes.
       Before implementing such a configuration, the city decided to fund the Kimley-Horn study. The city intent, as expressed at a meeting of the Old Colorado City Special Improvement Maintenance District committee last fall, is to ensure that all aspects of two-laning with bikes lanes - or anything proposed in the 21st-to- 31st segment - are carefully considered first.
       If any business owners still want to talk to Kimley-Horn, the Denver phone is 720-636-8273, and the e-mail can go to emily.felton@kimley-horn.com.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 4/1/17; Community: Ongoing Issues)

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