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Local residents weigh in on Greater Westside Community Plan

Posted at 11:44 PM, Oct 05, 2022

COLORADO SPRINGS — A meeting happened on Wednesday night inviting Colorado Springs residents to give their input on the Greater Westside Community Plan.

It's the first meeting where neighbors can weigh in on that part of town for this specific plan. Residents that News5 spoke to said transportation and infrastructure are some of the main issues they want addressed.

“I think what they have proposed for Colorado Avenue is spending way too much money on it to make it more pedestrian and bicycle friendly. They have parking problems already over there,” said Tim Hoiles, who has lived on city's westside for more than 30 years.

He’s also the owner and publisher of The Maverick Observer. He says traffic has gotten worse over time in that part of town.

“Let's address public transportation with some meaningful solutions, and not doing the same thing over and over again,” said Hoiles.

The Greater Westside Community plan is in place to keep up with growth and improvements in nine neighborhoods west of i25. Those neighborhoods include Mesa Springs, Mesa, Old Colorado City, Westside, Midland, Gold Hill Mesa, Skyway, Ivywild and Stratton Meadows.

The plan focuses on creating vibrant neighborhoods, unique places, more culture, strong connections, landscapes and a thriving economy.

“I love it. The people over here and great I get to be close to wildlife. It's a hop, skip and a jump to the mountains, it’s great over here,” said Eric Rainey, who has lived in Old Colorado City for about three years.

The plan also focuses on improved transportation, public safety, climate resiliency, community planning and economic development. Those improvements are what many want addressed as well.

“The big one I hear from everyone I talked to is the roads in the area, and how they could be better. It seems like it's been an issue for years now,” said Rainey.

With plans for a thriving economy, comes more housing and more people. But many say it's concerning during an emergency.

“It’s a bad situation. If we have to evacuate a bunch of people at once, the roads around here just can't handle that amount of people,” said Rainey.

Hoiles also referenced a study done by the National Forest Service, citing Colorado Springs in the top 100 communities exposed to wildfires. He added that improved transportation is a priority when coming up with a plan.

“We’re going to have some major issues in this WUI, otherwise known as a Wildland Urban Interface. You get too many people in small roads, and you can't get out, especially the way fires go through a wooded area,” said Hoiles.

If you couldn’t make it to Wednesday’s meeting, there will be more meetings held in the future for this plan. You can also participate in the online survey on the city’s website.

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