As drivers navigate the construction of new bridges over Sand Creek on Platte Avenue, the city of Colorado Springs is launching a long-term planning process for the busy east-west corridor.
Aaron Egbert, project manager and senior engineer for the city, expects to see the crowded road get even more heavily traveled as new residents move to the eastern edge of town.
"We need to have a solid long-range plan for Platte Avenue," he said.
Trails and sidewalk improvements for cyclists and pedestrians are also expected to get incorporated into the plan, but will likely look different along the distinct sections of the 6-mile corridor from downtown to north Powers Boulevard, he said. As part of the study, the city has split the corridor into four sections: the downtown portion that ends at Nevada Avenue, the residential area that ends at north Union Boulevard, the commercial area that ends at North Academy and the freeway portion that ends at Powers.
The study will identify a vision for each of the segments along the former state highway, he said. For example, an off-street trail for bikes and pedestrians may make sense along the eastern portion of the road that feels like a freeway, Egbert said.
The work will also identify how well recent safety improvements have worked. The city put in medians forcing only right turns on and off Platte Avenue in the residential section to help reduce accidents and the effectiveness of those will be assessed, he said.
The city is also aware of ongoing problems such as traffic signals in the Knob Hill neighborhood that need to be improved and traffic challenges around the statue of Gen. William Palmer at Platte and Nevada avenues and will be assessing solutions.
Bus service is also heavily used along the corridor as residents travel from the downtown terminal to the hub at The Citadel mall and the city expects to examine how that could be improved, he said.
Residents are invited to weigh in on needed corridor improvements during an online meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Residents can register for the meeting at ColoradoSprings.gov/PlatteAveCorridor. The long-range study is expected to be finished early next year.