Westside Watch, a coalition of homeowner associations and Westside neighborhoods, has launched a campaign to keep evacuation planning at the forefront of the City Council agenda.
The group formed amid debate over a 420-unit apartment complex proposed at 2424 Garden of the Gods Road, an area that became a chokepoint during the evacuation when the Waldo Canyon fire swept into the city in June 2012.
That project was rejected by Council recently, as we reported here, setting the stage for what might evolve into a different set of criteria for development approvals. Some say don't hold your breath.
Part of the opposition's strategy in the 2424 case was to flood Council with scripted emails, demanding that traffic congestion and evacuations be taken into account.
Now, Westside Watch is encouraging followers to do the same, suggesting people send emails to Council and the mayor that say:
We respectfully request that you.
- Begin conducting city-wide custom traffic evacuation studies every 5 years.
- Keep those studies fresh and current by implementing the usage of the FREE FLEET evacuation modeling software, and report our clearance evacuation times to us as well as publish the route maps for various scenarios in the event of a wildfire or other emergencies.
- Use these tools to evaluate the impact of future developments in our high risk WUI neighborhoods.