The Manitou Incline is owned by three partners – the City of Colorado Springs, the U.S. Forest Service and Colorado Springs Utilities. These partners, along with the City of Manitou Springs, which has specific roles around enforcement and parking, are all stakeholders in this popular part of the City's trail system. The suggestions that came out of Manitou’s City Council Work Session last night go far beyond the scope of temporary, health and safety-related issues around COVID-19. While the City will review the ideas with the other property owners, it is extremely premature to suggest that major changes would be made to the operation of the Incline, particularly under the guise of COVID-19, without agreement of the owners and a significant public process.
The fee proposal as it is currently written especially goes beyond mitigating risk and would require a significant public process to evaluate a future usage fee and additional management options. Further, implementation of any fee would trigger a level of public involvement specific to the National Forest System Lands.
Colorado Springs continues to encourage and has supported the City of Manitou Springs’ implementation of the current management plan that recommends they address parking strategies and Ruxton corridor traffic congestion.