LETTERS: On Colorado Springs issues
Lack of forethought by leaders
I am a 36-year resident of Colorado Springs and can't see ever living any other place. I have voted in every election for and against people and issues. My problem is with our present and former mayors and council members.
I know most have a desire to help improve the city but wanting a new hotel or ball park or new businesses or maybe a new museum is great but would those improve the lives of the citizens?
Please give me a minute and consider what has not happened. We send a lot of tax money to the Fed and the state from every dollar that we spend or tourist spend on gasoline, sales and use tax, income tax, bed and car tax, on and on. Who sees that we get our share back?
Our city has no east-west freeways through and around town. The highways into the city from any direction are a total disaster to drive with traffic backups from any little mishap to say nothing of the only route to and from Denver that a simple fender-bender backs traffic up for miles in any direction.
All this is due to a lack of forethought of all previous city leaders. I can't see new ideas from the current people now in office. I don't see long-range plans for a bypass to Castle Rock or Denver.
Now we are faced with yet another vote on a tax hike for stormwater. This should have been done long ago and in the budget and not even an issue.
Weed control along our roads and streets is an embarrassment. Why would it not be easy to contract out areas to local contractors that I'm sure would save money for the county and city and have the entry to the city much cleaner.
One other thought, the state lotto has money to issue for parks. I think that long ago someone should have ask for money to make a riverwalk type area of Monument Creek from Uintah Street to America the Beautiful Park with beautiful grass on each side with walkways. I know the homeless and other cleanup would have to be done, but this would add a great asset to the city.
Importance of curbs and gutters
In response to the letter to the editor published Aug. 4, titled "Disappointed with curbs, sidewalks"
When the public voted on Ballot Issue 2C in 2015, ballot language outlined the need: road repairs and improvements. Road improvements include pedestrian ramps, curbs, and sidewalks for several reasons.
First, as a city we are federally mandated to ensure that each of these items is compliant with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). For people who may not use vehicles, or perhaps use a wheelchair, a ramp at the proper grade can be critical to their ability to travel.
Our attention to curbs and gutters is to prevent a newly paved street from degrading at a faster rate. When curb and gutter is broken or cracked, there is an opportunity for water to infiltrate the subgrade under the newly paved road. This water infiltration will negatively impact the roadway, causing premature failures in the asphalt surface and ultimately the entire road.
The last thing we want to do is repave a road and ignore some of the salient causes of premature failure. We want to do it right and do everything we can to make sure it lasts.
One of the major components of 2C was a promise to the voters that the funds would not serve to grow the city government, and for that reason all of the work has been outsourced to the private sector (the "inspections and administration" cost). This includes the costs associated with inspection and material testing.
These local companies inspect all the work to ensure that it adheres to our specifications, and they are also responsible for ensuring compliance of the materials used. This is also a great way to stimulate the local economy for several years.
We finished 2016 on schedule and under budget. Through the efforts of many contractors and city staff members, we are on track to do the same for 2017. And of course, annual revenues collected above the anticipated $50 million or any unspent revenues for the year will be applied towards paving in future years.
As always, thanks to Colorado Springs residents for their patience as we continue to improve our city's roads.
To stay updated on the latest 2C movement, visit https://www.coloradosprings.gov/2c.
Travis Easton, director of Public Works
Looking around Colorado Springs
In 1990, after 30 years in the Air Force and seeing almost all the states; we fell in love with Colorado and Colorado Springs and chose to settle here.
To describe Colorado Springs back then would include the AFA, Garden of the Gods, Fort Carson, and the city was kept clean and almost trash free. But now to describe our city now would be changed to: pot, potholes, panhandlers, red-light runners, and cars with expired tags or only one tag displayed on the back (none on the front) with no dates showing expiration.
Are we to assume this tag was stolen off the front of another vehicle and then placed on their vehicle? Vehicles are issued two plates, and I don't understand why many times they aren't displayed.
When I call the CSPD to ask why this is allowed, they said they don't stop cars just for that but if another violation is involved, then they would stop them for that and add on the expired tag issue. Also we have people trashing the city for their own purposes with their signs for garage sales, lost dogs and cats, and Realtors wanting to buy your house for cash.
Signs of this type have some restrictions and they are:
1. Put them up after noon on Friday and take them down by noon on Monday.
2. No signs allowed in medians.
3. Signs can not be attached to parts of the city infrastructure, such as street posts, light posts, telephone poles, telephone and city electrical boxes.
4. All must be free-standing.
Yet, Aug 5, on Constitution between Murray and Circle, I counted over 57 signs attached in that manner and one telephone pole had six signs attached to it.
Look around, our city posts look like they are held together with cellophane and duct tape.
Lastly, we have weeds growing up all over the city, which are cracking the brick tiles in medians, making some sidewalks in the city unusable, and making some streets look more like Detroit than Colorado Springs.