News Wednesday Nov 11, 2020

Parkland Dedication Ordinance (PLDO)

What is it and why should you care? When developers build houses in the city of Colorado Springs, they are required to donate/dedicate a set amount of land for future neighborhood and community parks. For over two years, TOSC has been on a taskforce to consider changes to the PLDO. The group agreed that any changes should maintain our quality of life, be affordable, provide equity and fairness and finally, provide flexibility. Recognizing that PLDO’s purpose is to provide land for future parks and not to build or maintain parks, TOSC is supporting the recommended changes to PLDO. But we ask that Colorado Springs considers the practice of other cities (like Aurora) and requires park development fees in new developments. That would provide dollars to build new parks. Currently there are a dozen parks, promised to new neighborhoods, waiting to be built and no funds are available. The Parks Advisory Board will vote on changes to PLDO at its November meeting. City Council is expected to vote next month. More information on PLDO can be found on the November COS Parks Board agenda.

E-Bikes - Take the Survey
E-Bikes on soft-surface trails in parks and open spaces? COS Parks wants to hear from you! 700+ have already taken the survey, now it’s your turn. Survey closes Nov 20th.
 
Class 1, pedal assisted e-bikes are already allowed on the city’s hard surface urban trails. Now the city is considering allowing the same within parks and open spaces. Survey results will help city staff make a decision.
 
The TOSC Board of Directors recently passed the following resolution: TOSC requests a separate classification for e-bikes, a phased in approach, citizen review of pilot programs and impacts, education and improved signage. TOSC urges regional collaboration between parks departments to achieve standardized rules regarding e-bikes and their use.

PARK AND TRAIL News

Trail Work at Red Rock Canyon Open Space
The City Parks performing trail maintenance to repair storm damage and restore trail conditions to a more sustainable and natural state, will cause temporary rolling closures on the Greenlee, Mesa and Sand Canyon Trails in Red Rock Canyon Open Space. For visitor and worksite safety, trails will be closed in sections as they are being worked on. Park visitors should plan alternate routes to avoid work zones. Please see the attached image. The project is expected to be completed in November.
 
Also, work is slated to begin on the new section of the Lion Trail and realignment/improvement to the existing Lion trail. Equipment will be staging along the top of the Lion trail near the intersection with the Landfill Road, and work will move from South to North. We expect work to begin at the end of this week and last for several weeks. There may be some intermittent trail closures along the route during the project.  For questions please contact Wesley.Hermann@coloradosprings.gov.
Election Results
Kudos to supporters of 2B for a successful campaign and outcome. The charter change will require any future park land exchange of a certain size go to a vote of the people. As your “eyes, ears and voice” on parks trails and open space – we heard from many of you for and against this initiative. For that reason, TOSC did not actively campaign on this issue but merely provided information and our Board’s rationale for preferring 2C (city council super-majority) over 2B.
Future park land exchanges proposed by Park Staff will be presented to the Parks Advisory Board as they are now. But if they meet the criteria outlined in the new ordinance, after support from parks board and a super-majority of city council, the proposed exchange will go to a public vote in the next scheduled election or a special election if time sensitive. We will continue to bring you information about future park-land exchanges as they occur.
The success of 2A means the parks budget will not face serious cuts over the next few years because the TABOR cap has been readjusted. That allows the city’s general fund – impacted by the economic downturn/pandemic – to recover sooner.
 
Incline Update
The last reservation session for the Manitou Incline during the winter months will be 2:30 PM, beginning Wednesday November 18th. Parks Staff reports there are currently zero to few people signing up for late afternoon sessions. To improve safety for users and staff, access to the Manitou Incline will not be permitted after 3:00 PM beginning Nov 18th.
 

TOSC

Paint Mines Guided Hike
Saturday, November 14, 8:00-10:30 AM
Join a Bear Creek Nature Center naturalist at the Paint Mines Interpretive Park in Calhan, exploring hoodoos, discussing the natural and cultural history of the area. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and dress for the weather, bring water, sunscreen, hat, snacks. Meet at main parking lot (the one with restroom). To register call 719-520-6387. Prepaid $5 registration required. #tosc2020challenge
I Just Made My Indy Give! Donation.
I moved to the Pikes Peak region exactly one year ago. Being a military family, we have lived all across the country. We have never had access to a network of trails, parks and open spaces like we do here. I’m continuously sharing photos of me, my family and our dog using these incredible resources. The response is always the same: “What I Wouldn’t Give to have access to Parks and Trails like those!”.
Across the nation, my friends are saying, WHAT I WOULDN’T GIVE FOR:
  • A neighborhood trail to walk my dog
  • A unique open space for my family to explore
  • A network of urban trails to ride my bike
  • A clean and maintained hiking trail that gives me a challenge
  • So, I ask you: What would YOU GIVE for trails, parks and open spaces like ours?
Please join me in making a gift to support our local outdoor spaces today.
                                 Sincerely,
                                              Beth
Save the Date: Thursday December 3, 5:00 PM
Join TOSC and the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District as we host the first virtual Wild and Scenic Film Festival in the Pikes Peak region! Wild & Scenic focuses on films which speak to the environmental concerns and celebrations of our planet. In this virtual film festival, there is a compilation of 10 short films on water. The festival is a natural extension of the work of FCW and TOSC to educate and inspire people to act on behalf of the environment. Tickets start at $15 and will be available to the public soon. Watch for updates on Facebook.

Community

South Academy Boulevard Reconstruction Project
The City and South Academy Boulevard Pavement Reconstruction Project team are hosting a virtual public meeting on Tuesday, November 17th, 5:30 – 6:30 PM. This meeting will focus on significant improvements being considered in Southeast Colorado Springs. One of the project elements will be enhanced trail connectivity from the Sand Creek Trail along Hancock Expressway, along with additional pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. The current project has evolved from the 2014 Hancock Expressway/Academy Boulevard study. TOSC has been integral to the planning and design process. This is an exciting time for the Southeast Colorado Springs community with enhanced connectivity along the Sand Creek Trail, to multiple park facilities and other valuable amenities that will benefit from increased pedestrian and bicycle access.
Railroad Underpass Project
The main line railway bridge over both South Tejon Street and Nevada Avenue in the southern part of downtown Colorado Springs is 115 years old and needs to be replaced. This replacement project study and design is funded by the current Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) and has allowed for the very positive development of increased trail off-street pedestrian and trail facilities within the project area. Due to additional considerations, the preferred alternative will include the Shooks Run corridor. The design moving forward includes the connection for the Shooks Run Trail/Legacy Loop from the historic 1860’s railroad bridge on the northern end of the Concrete Coyote property to the southern side of East Las Vegas Road. This is a major a step that will allow the eventual completion of the Legacy Loop and additional recreational access along this very valuable corridor for the residents and visitors of Colorado Springs.

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