A potential extension from Constitution Avenue to Interstate 25 is forcing residents to prepare for battle, even though Colorado Springs city officials say they don’t have enough details to even begin holding public meetings about it. the project.
An extension of Constitution Avenue from where it ends near Paseo Road to the Fontanero/Interstate 25 interchange could help ease congestion on other east-west corridors, such as Fillmore Street, and has long been a possibility, said City Engineer Gayle Sturdivant. .
“The city’s east-west transportation routes are under pressure, and if we were to expand streets into other areas, it would require additional right-of-way and impacts to existing homes and businesses,” she said. declared.
However, for some residents, the fight for an extension of the Constitution is far from new. A similar proposal was launched in the early 2000s, and the arguments against the noise, traffic and pollution it could bring to historic districts are the same.
“We are impacting neighborhoods that have been established in certain areas for over 100 years. I don’t think that’s acceptable,” said Jan Doran, who fought against the extension some 15 years ago.
Details of the extension, including how many lanes the road could have, have yet to be explored as part of a feasibility study which could be funded by an extension of part of the Pikes Peak Levy. Regional Transportation Authority.
Residents are expected to vote on extending part of the 1-cent tax and any projects the tax could fund in November.
If the city wants to pursue a plan to study extending the Constitution through a tax, officials should have met with residents ahead of time, said Dutch Schulz, president of the Old North End association. Neighbors.
“There was not a single public meeting on the Constitution. Why not ? he said.
Sturdivant said the public process on the constitution could begin after the feasibility study is completed. One of the main questions the study should explore is the available space owned by the city for a road. The new connection could have a maximum width of four lanes based on a city ordinance, but it’s unclear whether they would be suitable, she said. It is not envisioned as a freeway-style street, she said.
The potential extension could cross the Colorado Springs Fontanero Service Center and along the city right-of-way that parallels the Rock Island Trail. It wouldn’t cross Monument Valley Park or the Rock Island Trail. It wouldn’t connect to Cascade Avenue, Nevada Avenue or Weber Street, and it wouldn’t require the removal of homes, Sturdivant said.
The city considered asking voters to improve Fillmore Street as part of the Transportation Authority tax expansion to ease east-west congestion, but found an expansion would cut businesses east of Cascade Avenue, she said.
If an extension to the Constitution is possible, Sturdivant said, the city would be willing to work with the neighborhood on issues such as noise and traffic.
Schulz argued that Constitution discussions should have been part of the overall traffic plan for the city, known as Connect COS, with dedicated meetings such as those held for Platte Avenue changes.
“They weren’t straight with us at first,” he said.
The Old North End is in “total opposition” to a road that could work as Platte Avenue or Fillmore Street, he said. Such a road could serve as a dividing line for residents.
“We keep carving up the city, and it’s like the old neighborhoods are starting to be throwaway neighborhoods,” Doran said.
The Old North End has appealed to residents to show up at the June 28 council meeting to oppose the scheme.
The city has already removed other highly controversial projects from the list of tax extensions ahead of the vote. For example, the city plans to investigate the possibility of separating one-way portions of Platte Avenue and Boulder Street from the tax extension.