News Wednesday June 2, 2021

Pedal Our Past
For 2021, in honor of the Colorado Springs 150th year, the City is taking a new spin on Bike Month by hosting a month-long self-guided historic bike tour series, Pedal Our Past. 5 different routes were chosen to highlight the fascinating history that makes Colorado Springs so unique. A special thanks to the Colorado Springs Pioneer’s Museum for creating a robust list of points of interest for these routes, which will be marked with yard signs. Pedal Our Past will replace Bike to Work Day this year.
  • Legacy Loop – The Legacy Loop is the realization of General Palmer’s vision for a greenspace encircling the Downtown area. Points of interest span the first days of Colorado Springs to Olympic City USA. 
  • Hillside – This loop around the neighborhoods east of Downtown runs the gamut from sick people wanting to be well to athletes wanting to be the best. And Nikola Tesla! 
  • Southeast – Learn how the airport, the military and strong local institutions and people have made Southeast Colorado Springs (the newest neighborhood in Pedal our Past) the family-focused the strong, resilient, family-focused neighborhood it is today
  • Cragmor – You will experience a little bit of everything on this tour, from tuberculosis sanatoria to Hollywood, and from industrial history to education, plus the flood of 1935. 
  • Old Colorado City – If Colorado Springs was genteel and delightful, Colorado City was a much more Wild West boomtown. Learn about the first territorial capital and how Colorado City has developed since then.
 

PARK AND TRAIL News

Electric Bike Pilot Program on Pause
Last week City Parks Staff announced they were delaying the start of the planned 1 year e-bike pilot program. Scheduled to begin May 31 st, the pilot was halted to allow City Attorneys to determine if the e-bike pilot would violate City Code.
Until a new date for the pilot is provided, only Class 1 e-bikes are legal on hard surface urban trails. E-bikes are not allowed on soft surface trails in regional parks and open spaces. The exception regarding e-bike use is if a cyclist qualifies for a personal mobility device under ADA regulations.
More info on the city’s policies regarding e-bikes: coloradosprings.gov/ebike.
This week the Denver Post featured an article on e-bike etiquette.
North Cheyenne Cañon Park Update
The weekday closure of North Cheyenne Canyon road from the Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center to the Gold Camp Parking lot has been extended until June 18 th . Updates on this Project:
– Crews have nearly completed work on the existing gravel parking lot located uphill of Helen Hunt Falls at the intersection of North Cheyenne Canyon Road, High Drive and Gold Camp Road; the lot should reopen Wednesday, June 2 with access available from Gold Camp Road. The lot count was increased from 75 non-designated spaces to 92 designated spaces, plus the addition of concrete curb and gutter, a paved asphalt surface and accessible parking spaces. This was a recommendation of the North Cheyenne Cañon master plan.
-The boulder that has been blocking Gold Camp Road has been removed.
– The extended closure will allow for completion of additional parking lot improvements. This includes formalizing pull-off parking and improving pedestrian flow at the Bruin Inn Picnic Area. Also, this project will add 12 designated parking spots to the Daniels Pass Trailhead.
– North Cheyenne Canyon Road will be open on weekends. The Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center will remain open throughout the project and the Helen Hunt Falls Visitor Center will only be open on weekends until road closures have ended.
-Americans with Disability Act (ADA) improvements are ongoing in North Cheyenne Canon Park. At Helen Hunt Falls, there are new accessible parking stalls being added, an accessible new ramp in the parking lot and an accessible plaza between the Visitor Center and the waterfall. In the South Canyon portion of the park, an accessible parking stall and ramp to the restroom is being repaired. photo credit: City of Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs Parks: Middle of the Pack
Each year the Trust for Public Land puts out a parks report card for the 100 largest cities.
Back in 2013 Colorado Springs ranked 14th. Denver ranked 17th.
In 2015 COS fell to 38th, Denver was 16th and Aurora placed 13th.
In 2019 we were ranked 49th, Denver 28th and Aurora 23rd.
This year COS dropped to 56th place. Denver was ranked 18th and Aurora 25th.
Why? ParkScore looks at 5 criteria: Access, Investment, Acreage, Amenities and Equity.
We score above average in Equity and Access, but fall down in Investment and Amenities.
Too few basketball hoops, splash pads along with recreation and senior centers. We do better with our number of dog parks and playgrounds.
77% of our population lives within 10 minutes of a park.
8% of city land used for parks and recreation. (The national median is 15%)
Our lowest score each year is our per capita spending for city parks – $78 per person per year. The national average is $96. Denver spends $138 per person and Aurora spends $166. If we can successfully increase and extend our TOPS tax in November, it will show up on next years’ Parkscore.

We should not be satisfied with “average!”

Trail Ambassadors
Wild weather did not stop people from recreating on our trails over this past Memorial Day Weekend. In many of our major open spaces and parks, parking lots still filled up and thousands of people braved their favorite trails. In several parks, these hikers and riders were met by volunteer Trail Ambassadors.
In Cheyenne Mountain State Park, North Cheyenne Canon Park, Rainbow Falls and in Green Mountain Falls, volunteer Trail Ambassadors gave information out about trails and did their best to help visitors have a positive experience. On Ute Pass trails, an estimated 750-900 visitors were greeted with information about how to limit their impact on trails. Last week, TOSC hosted a virtual info session for our Trail Ambassador Program that was attended by a dozen people. If you would like to volunteer this summer as a Trail Ambassador, please email Program Coordinator Aaron Rogers, aaron@trailsandopenspaces.org, to receive a video explaining the program and an invite to RSVP for the next training.
Midland Corridor Study
The Traffic Engineering Division is studying the three-street corridor of Colorado Avenue, Cucharras Street and Pikes Peak Avenue which parallels the Midland Trail, to identify transportation issues and infrastructure improvements needed to carry out the vision of business owners and residents. City presented last week on the Midland corridor transportation study to improve getting around through the westside.
Rock Island Trail Closure
May 27 through late August, the intersection of Constitution Avenue and Paseo Road will close to all traffic to facilitate bridge maintenance work and improvements to a section of the Rock Island Trail. Detours will be in place and travelers are encouraged to avoid the area. Rock Island Trail users will be detoured two blocks around the construction zone. In addition to bridge maintenance work, safety improvements will be made to the crossing of Rock Island Trail at Paseo Road, including providing a pedestrian refuge island and narrowing the crossing distance across Paseo Road. The project is funded by PPRTA and the city’s Bike Program.

TOSC

TOSC Virtual Trail Mixer: Urban Trail Safety
Tue. June 15, 5:30 – 7:00 pm
 
Bike theft at trailheads is becoming a common trend. Learn how to protect your bike and property at trailheads with CSPD. Plus, Colorado Springs TOPS Rangers dish out tips for how to recreate safely on our urban trails, identify dangers and report issues. Registration for this free event is limited!
TOSC MEMBER BIKE RIDE: LEGACY LOOP
Sat. June 19, 9:00 – 12:00 pm
We are thrilled to start hosting Member Hikes and Bike Rides again! If you are a TOSC Member, we’d like to invite you to join us for a 3-hour gentle Legacy Loop Bike Ride, where we will experience the beauty and history of Colorado Springs. We will explore the Pikes Peak Greenway and Shooks Run Trail and visit various points of interest along the way, including urban art and some of the newest trail connections. Space is limited, so please only register if you are confident that you will attend. If you are not a member and want to learn more, contact Beth beth@trailsandopenspaces.org.

Community

 
June Programs at Mueller
Hikes, fishing, archery and learning! There is so much to discover at Mueller State park.
 
Beards, Bonnets and Bikes
Sat. June 5, 9:30 – 1:00 pm
Join Kids on Bikes for the annual Family Ride with Mayor Suthers! This year, ride like it’s 1871 by fashioning your best bonnet and burliest (or well-trimmed) beard. Meet at America the Beautiful Park. The ride is a six-mile round trip along the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail at a very relaxed pace with minimal street crossings. The group will enjoy popsicles at the halfway point at what has affectionately become known as the PopCycle Bridge.
 
 
 
Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Advisory Board
The City of Colorado Springs is seeking applications to fill one opening for a three-year term on the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Advisory Board and two or three alternate positions. Members must be residents of the City of Colorado Springs and may serve up to two consecutive three-year terms. The time commitment required is about five hours per month. Board members meet the second Thursday of each month at 7:30 a.m.
Please complete the online application at ColoradoSprings.gov/boards.
Applications are due Wednesday, June 8!
Urban Water Cycle: Cottonwood Creek Trail
Fri. June 11 or Sat. Jun 12, 9:00 – 1:00 PM
 
FREE regional bike tour along Cottonwood Creek! Learn and connect to our local water and recreation resources on this 9-mile (mostly downhill) ride. Both tours start at Frank Costello Park, with a short ride to Cowpoke Flood Detention and Development. You will then ride downhill all the way to a creek restoration site on Monument Creek. With a short ride back uphill, you will end at Crit Cafe for our final speakers, networking and refreshments on your own.
 
Beards, Bonnets & Brews Festival
Sat. June 12, 12:00 – 8:00 PM
Party like it’s 1871! This free family-friendly event will offer a smorgasbord of activity for people of all ages! History will mix with modern times at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site
 where guests can enjoy:
*Beverage tastings from 30 local breweries & distilleries (Whiskey tasting punch card ONLINE ONLY – No on-site, day of purchases)
*Live music from a variety of local bands
*Games popular in the late 1800s
*Living history with actors playing historic roles
*Learn about and celebrate the history of Colorado Springs
*Compete for the title of Best Beard or Best Bonnet (or both!)
 
Sidewalks, bike lanes and trails are essential transportation infrastructure
trio of bipartisan bills pending in Congress offers the transformative vision we need. Two of the bills — the Transportation Alternatives Enhancements Act and the RTP Full Funding Act — provide increased funding and necessary policy changes to secure the legacy programs that helped build the nation’s current multiuse trails, protected bike lanes and sidewalks. The third bill — Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act (H.R.2991/S.684) — provides the dedicated, focused funding necessary to quickly create walking and biking networks. It’s a critical missing link in our federal transportation policy.
Effectively Managing Increasing Visitation to Colorado
TOSC is partnering with Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance and other local organizations to highlight ways we can minimize negative impacts to trails, parks and open spaces in our region.
Partners in the Outdoors recently offered a seminar on “Effectively Managing Increasing Visitation to Colorado” which  featured statewide survey results conducted by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. The survey went out to Colorado Land Managers. 
 
 
Translate »

Do you want to preserve and improve our outdoor spaces?

Become a member!

For as little as $30 Join the Coalition and advocate for the preservation, improvement and maintenance of our TRAILS, OPEN SPACES and PARKS.