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Letter: Center lane imperative if avenue 2-laned through OCC

       I was amused to read in the current Westside Pioneer online about the latest study about "two-laning" Colorado Avenue through Old Colorado City. [See article at this link.] It brought to mind an article from the September 2015 Pioneer, which may be seen at this link.
       Quoting City Transportation Director Kathleen Krager, that article said, ”Krager told the SIMD committee that for Old Colorado City she was OK with straight-in or back-in diagonal parking, but 'my one demand is that bike lanes be there as well.'”
       The new Pioneer article highlights one concern about traffic back-ups - a disastrous consequence of Director Krager's "one demand" - the one that leapt off the page from the architect's conceptual drawing in the 2015 article. The new article states:
       "Olson's original SIMD two-laning concept plan had included a center lane, but when Krager indicated several months ago she wanted bike lanes, the center lane was removed for space reasons. However, at the November SIMD meeting, comments from a few merchants/property owners suggested a center lane is a must for commercial loading and unloading in a two-lane scenario."
       No kidding. In the configuration pictured in the 2015 article, every stop by a delivery vehicle would bring all traffic behind it on Colorado Avenue to a complete standstill. And there are many such stops on Colorado Avenue in the OCC business district, on both sides of the street, every business day. How a city's transportation director could fail to consider something so obvious, suggests a level of incompetence that beggars the imagination.
       As to the sidewalk problem, one cause may be tree roots, as it is with the heaving concrete sidewalks along Pikes Peak Avenue, one block north. And (a fact not mentioned in either Pioneer article), Pikes Peak Avenue has also for many years been a designated bike route, featuring a large hill between 28th and 25th Streets for the benefit of the leg muscles and cardiovascular systems of our city's fitness-conscious cyclists.

       Kurt Foster

(Posted 11/29/16; Opinion: Letters)

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