EDITORíS DESK: All aboard the Red Rock shuttle

       Colorado Springs Parks plans a formal dedication of Red Rock Canyon Open Space July 16. There will likely be pomp and circumstance, guided hikes and (well-deserved) kudos to the City Parks employees who have so thoughtfully led the upgrading of the ruggedly scenic Westside property since the $12.5 million purchase was finalized in late 2003.
       There is only one problem with this happy scenario: Many taxpayers who helped purchase the property will not be able to participate.
       Why so? Because, quite simply, they can't get there. The memorably scenic parts of Red Rock Canyon are cut off to motor vehicles. City officials prudently claim that open space requirements don't allow it, and besides, the trails themselves are handicapped accessible. Fine, but let's be reasonable. There are a lot of people who are simply on in their years or just not as spry as they once were. They're not handicapped, but a half-mile uphill walk might as well be halfway around the world.
       A golden opportunity exists at this point in time. Most of the roads that were carved in by the Bock family during their 80-year Red Rock saga still are driveable. The city traverses them in their pickup trucks when necessary to bring up materials. We've also heard there may have been a visit by certain honchos some weeks ago, in which they wound up being shuttled because they didn't want to walk.
       And was that so wrong? Surely a similar sort of shuttle could be arranged - not all the time because of manpower and cost issues - but as a special-occasion sort of thing until the roads are permanently transformed (as master-planned) into trails. After all, not just the nimble paid the price for this land. Perhaps the dedication would qualify as such a special occasion. It might even give it a little extra pomp.

- K.J.