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Constitution Ave extension removed from Colorado Springs master transportation plan

Constitution Ave extension removed from Colorado Springs master transportation plan
Posted at 10:16 PM, Mar 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-02 17:54:52-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs neighbors who live in the Old North End neighborhood and central part of the city are celebrating today. It comes after city council approved 8-1 a transportation plan for the city, that does not include studying an extension of Constitution Avenue to i25.

For months, Tom Murawski and other residents have pushed back against that part of the proposed plan. It would have connected I-25 to Union Boulevard with a non-stop expressway.

“This thing would have wrecked any neighborhood and certainly this one,” said Murawski, who lives near the proposed project. “It would have been 1000's of vehicles passing by backyards every day, belching fumes and noise.”

Murawski was concerned that the expressway would run through half a dozen quiet, established neighborhoods, including his neighborhood near Legacy Loop. He also added, that the quality of lives would be impacted, home values would diminish, plus it would’ve been built near two schools.

Council members also agreed, including Councilwoman Nancy Henjum, of District 5. Yesterday, she and city leaders heard from more than a couple dozen concerned residents.

“I think primarily the recognition that adding another road induced demand, just creating more traffic, and it’s not the solution that is needed for our transportation challenges,” said Henjum.

She too believed the plan would’ve broken up neighborhoods and create more challenges for the city. She also mentioned, that this was an idea that came forward in the 1960’s. Ever since then, residents have been clear, that they do not want an extension of Constitution Ave.

Henjum also said she heard from concerned residents from the Old North End, central Colorado Springs, and all the way to Powers.

She added, because of those concerns, the city-wide transportation plan was amended to exclude the Constitution Ave extension. Instead, the city wants to create a greenway, and transform the area into part of a city park.

“We need to determine how it would look, but something that does not have a road and does not have cars going through, certainly bikes and walking and hiking, and other kinds of recreational activity,” said Henjum.

Meanwhile, Murawski said he and many others are pleased with city council's vote.

“The neighborhoods pushed back, and city council listened. What more could you want? It’s democracy in action,” said Murawski. “I have renewed trust in in the city and the government, and I have more respect than ever.”

Part of the plan is still considering enhanced east to west mobility on Uintah Street and Fillmore Street.

City council is scheduled to vote on the plan during a second reading in mid-march.

The proposed project was one of the ideas in the draft ConnectCOS 20-year transportation plan. The ConnectCOS planning process is a long-term look that pinpoints where there is traffic congestion, and where growth is happening. It then suggests potential solutions.

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