City postpones "safety sizing" north end streets; Cascade a "go"


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The city has apparently bagged the idea temporarily of narrowing to two lanes several streets through the Old North End, but will move ahead with so-called "road dieting" through Colorado College on Cascade Avenue, according to a news release.

Eliminating lanes on other streets drew sharp criticism from residents, so perhaps the city is sensitive to public input after all.

The release:
In an effort to improve pedestrian safety, the City of Colorado Springs has been asked to modify travel lanes on Cascade Avenue between Cache la Poudre and Uintah streets in cooperation with Colorado College.

“Reducing travel lanes from four to two lanes on Cascade Avenue near Colorado College will substantially reduce the likelihood of pedestrian accidents,” said Kathleen Krager, Senior Transportation Manager for the City of Colorado Springs. “Limited visibility associated with two travel lanes in each direction creates a hazard for crossing pedestrians.”

The excess travel lane in each direction will be converted to bike lanes. Colorado College will close two median openings to increase safety and add landscaping to direct pedestrian traffic to the two remaining crossing locations. Colorado College will pay for all associated project costs.

Next Steps:
June 9: Present plan to City of Colorado Springs Parks Board
June 16: Present plan to City Planning Commission
June 27: City Council to discuss in Work Session
July 12: City Council to take first vote and hear public comment
July 26: City Council to take final vote

If approved by Council, lanes will be modified before the end of summer 2016. Previously planned lane modifications for Nevada, Wasatch, Weber and Fontanero will be delayed to allow the City to gather more public input, study bus service through the Old North End neighborhood and allow the Bicycle Master Plan Update process to analyze the need and appropriateness of additional bike lanes in the area.

In May, residents were asked to provide input on a plan to modify travel lanes on five streets near Colorado College in an effort to address safety concerns for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists on Cascade, Nevada and Wasatch avenues and Fontanero and Weber streets. Because of mixed public support for modifying travel on these five streets and given the pressing safety concern on Cascade Avenue, the City will only make modifications to Cascade at this time.

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