Trolley buses were a benefit
I think the Manitou trolley buses were a benefit to both Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City. They provided convenient transportation, even if they were underutilized. Their style was a complement to the historic flavor of both Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs. And, being smaller than regular city buses, they blended with traffic better. It's unfortunate that Springs Transit didn't see fit to keep them in service as part of the regular bus system and simply start charging a fare. But, since Springs Transit's trolley buses are gone, I'd love to see Manitou's “jolly trolleys” upgraded and resurrected.
It's hard for me to have the same enthusiasm for the electric street railway! My impression is that the rolling stock is much more recent than the trolleys which once served the Westside. The electric street railway might be sort of a re-creation of some trolley system; but it certainly wouldn't be a re-creation of OUR historic trolley system. Having tracks in Colorado Avenue would tend to restrict the use of one traffic lane, even when no trolley was on the track; and Colorado Avenue is too busy for that, especially in Old Colorado City. Trolleys on tracks don't fit with traffic as well as buses do. The overhead electric lines that supply power to electric trolleys are, well, ugly - a historic feature we don't need any more than we need a daily accumulation of horse manure in the street.
As a bit of a preservationist, myself, I can appreciate the resources and dedication which go into the trolley barn. I only wish such resources and dedication could be directed to the “jolly trolleys.”
‘Something’ if streetcars returned
I really enjoyed the article about streetcars. That would really be something if they could get them running!
Don’t reopen Gold Camp
This is in response to “Caveman” Hament's letter regarding the opening of a limited stretch of Gold Camp Road to automobiles, RVs, off road SUVs, etc., etc.
It's not only the nearby property owners who would like to maintain this wonderful access to the upper reaches of North Cheyenne Canon without having to do it in a disruptive gas-powered vehicle which not only drives away any wildlife, but motorized vehicles are also a danger to those who have been willing to explore the area pedaling their bikes and on their own two feet. I've lived here long enough to remember trying to stroll along this road with my dog when we had to share it with vehicles. Life and limb were definitely at risk.
It's not as if we have no auto access into the mountains. The upper Gold Camp route to Cripple Creek is stlll there and accessible to cars via Old Stage Road. Hament complains that since it is a federal toll road that the U.S. Forest Service has the responsibility to maintain it. Consult a history of Gold Camp Road and you will discover that it stopped being a toll road back in 1939.
We have an opportunity now to maintain this easy foot and bicycle access to our beautiful foothills. Think about it! Would the advent of road-ripping SUVs and Hummers really be an improvement over what we have now??