Pleasant Valley close to getting an entryway

       The long-awaited entryway to Pleasant Valley is close to taking form.
       Colorado Springs Parks, in conjunction with the Pleasant Valley Neighbor-hood Association (PVNA), will transform the present blacktop between traffic lanes at 31st Street near Bijou into a landscaped area with a Pleasant Valley welcome sign.
       According to Jim Corcoran, the former PVNA president who has led the neighborhood effort, residents recently voted to put the sign on a large, natural rock; it will be engraved and hauled to the site.
       Plans call for city crews to break up the blacktop and help with the sign and landscaping. The PVNA, representing a roughly 40-year-old subdivision of 840 homes, will be responsible for planting and maintaining the area and has offered to kick in $500 of the estimated overall $3,500 cost.
       The city will cover the balance, based on the premise that such a sign merits city-wide support based on policies of supporting neighborhoods and helping motorists figure out where they are.
       “If someone hasn't lived here a long time, they don't know what Pleasant Valley is,” City Parks Director Paul Butcher noted.
       The sign will face traffic going north on 31st Street. The area is a triangular, roughly 5,000-square-foot paved traffic island just south of where 31st's north and south lanes divide on either side of Camp Creek. The creek flows into a corrugated pipe at that point, continuing underground south to Fountain Creek.
       The landscaping will be in a xeriscape format that requires minimal watering. About 200 plants, including flowering bushes, are anticipated.
       “We hope we can start planting by the week after Labor Day,” Corcoran said.
       Corcoran credited the area's City Council member, Scott Hente, for persuading city staff to support the effort. In an April column in the Westside Pioneer, Hente wrote that he was “making the argument that 31st Street is an entrance way into our city for the Garden of the Gods and Rock Ledge Ranch… I believe that this is an example of where the city has an obligation, if not a responsibility, to help improve the appearance of a neighborhood.”
       Before Hente's involvement, the neighborhood had been faced with full responsibility for the project. This was indicated in a letter from the city last summer informing the PVNA it needed to pay for the blacktop removal, a sign permit, a revocable permit for the use of city property, an insurance policy and special rock treatment to ensure “breakaway” capability if it were hit by a car.
       According to Butcher, the Pleasant Valley entryway is now a “city project,” so the PVNA no longer faces such requirements. “It's one of those things we want neighborhoods to get behind,” he said. “It shows neighborhood pride, and we think it benefits everyone.”

Westside Pioneer article