Letters

‘Manitou solution’ is working
       I read your September 9 report about the OCC Security Board meeting and would like to clarify some information. Specifically, I would like to comment on a board member's statement that the Manitou Springs solution for slowing traffic is “not working.” Manitou Springs is totally different from Old Colorado City in traffic patterns and counts. Before making changes, we engaged the world-renowned Dan Burden with Walkable Communities Inc. to do a walking audit of our city. We also used state-of-the- art computer models to gauge impacts on level of service for a road that would be placed on a “road diet.” Our level of service will stay at B or better until 2030.
       The purpose of using the “road diet”concept is part of a basic downtown economic development practice. When you design with people in mind (instead of cars), sales per square foot rise. Why does this concept work? Because people can't spend money from their cars. People need to get out of their cars and explore. Local people also spend more time walking instead of driving. The result for Manitou Springs thus far is a 13 percent increase in retail sales tax collected in July. This number is much higher than reports coming from every other Business Improvement District in the State of Colorado.
       Our road diet plan is working very well. The complaints we received thus far are from people that do not want to obey the 20 mile per hour speed limit.

Kitty Clemens
Economic Development Director
Manitou Springs Economic Development Council