24th & Colorado stoplight installed, ready for operation
With the poles and mast arms installed, a stoplight at 24th Street and Colorado Avenue this week was the flick of a Colorado Springs Utilities switch away from becoming operational.
Project engineer Colleen Dawson said she has not been told by Utilities how soon that would take place, but City Transportation Manager Kathleen Krager has previously predicted the light should be on at least by mid-May.
When it is functional, motorists and pedestrians will find a light that is synchronized with the other lights through Old Colorado City, according to Rob Helt of Traffic Engineering.
As a result, during what Helt termed the weekday “a.m. and p.m. peaks” (about 7 to 8:30 a.m. and 4 to 6:30 p.m.) 24th and the other lights through Old Colorado City are geared to give avenue traffic a higher percentage of the green time. The side-street traffic can get a longer green the rest of the time, aided by the same type of video detection system used at other side streets along the avenue through Old Colorado City, he said.
Pedestrians have buttons at 24th that will produce a walker logo when the light changes. The city will set the allowed “pedestrian clearance time” based on a measurement by the city of how long it takes a person to walk across either street, Helt said.
Dawson noted that the stoplight poles were specially ordered in a historically styled, scalloped design with “fancier lights on top” that matches those at other Old Colorado City stoplights.
The contractor was A Higher Power Electrical Inc., a Colorado Springs firm.
According to Krager, the main reason the city decided to install the light was a concern for pedestrians crossing between the north side of the avenue (which has Bancroft Park and, in the summer and fall, the Farmers Market) and the south side of the avenue (which has various commercial/retail offerings).
Also for that reason, a stoplight at the intersection had been requested for years by numerous Old Colorado City residents, business people and/or property owners. The city installed pedestrian-activated flashing lights across one side of the avenue five years ago, but they were criticized for being ineffective and potentially creating a false sense of security.
Westside Pioneer article