COLORADO SPRINGS — A major grant makes way for a redesign and rebuild of two blocks of Tejon Street in downtown Colorado Springs. “Tejon is our historic core,” said Laurel Prud’homme with the Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership. Tejon from Kiowa Street to Colorado Avenue is the first phase, with hopes to extend work further north if future funding can be secured.
The changes are possible because of a $1.6 million grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), matched by $400 thousand from the City of Colorado Springs. The funding through CDOT is a COVID recovery program called Revitalizing Main Streets. Downtown Partnership leadership approached the city about applying for the grant and collaborating on Tejon Street improvements.
"Downtown you've got more than, just about vehicles,” said City Traffic Engineer, Todd Frisbie, “You've got so many other uses that you're trying to serve and accommodate safely. So, context matters a lot." Early planning proposes removing the center turn lane, sliding the two directions of traffic to the center, adding bike lanes, and widening sidewalks. It is all to improve what is considered multi-model transportation in the downtown area.
Transportation planning for the rebuild considers that this is an area where people want more than a way to get from point A to point B. “It’s a signature street,” said Frisbee. Downtown is a place to wander in and out of shops, enjoy outdoor sidewalk dining at eateries, and socializing with others gathering along the corridor. With the increasing number of people moving to the downtown area there are more people getting around on bikes and foot. Vehicles also factor in for people who travel downtown from other places.