COLORADO SPRINGS — Incline Friends, a nonprofit organization dedicated to maintaining and sustaining the Manitou Incline, has issued a statement on the proposed paid reservations to hike the Incline.
Incline Friends said in a statement that, "charging a fee for the Incline would be very difficult to enforce. However, our primary objection is to requiring a reservation to use the Incline. Open, unlimited access to the Incline must be retained for local users who travel up Ruxton Avenue to the Incline by shuttle, walking, jogging, or biking. They are not making any contribution to traffic and parking problems in the Ruxton corridor, and as such, their ability to enjoy this much-loved resource when they so desire should not be restricted."
The group has been in support of the closure of the Include due to COVID-19, but does agree with the Manitou Springs City Council that adoption of traffic or parking restrictions on Ruxton Avenue is needed.
Incline Friends proposes that the Manitou Springs City Council opens the Incline at their June 2 meeting, with the first day of use on June 5.
The nonprofit has even offered to assist Manitou Springs by deploying volunteer social distancing ambassadors to encourage compliance with the per-hour usage limit and other measures intended to protect public health.
"Developing a temporary reservation system could take months, especially since it would require the concurrence of Colorado Springs and the U.S. Forest Service," Incline Friends said in the statement. "Making the reopening of the Incline contingent on development of a reservation system is both unacceptable and unnecessary."
On Wednesday, the City of Colorado Springs issued a statement in response to the Manitou City Council's discussion saying the Incline that charging for the Incline is premature and goes way beyound the scope of COVID-19.