Voters pass ballot measures to improve parks and roads

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Springs’ voters passed two ballot measures in the November election – 2B and 2C – that, respectively, allow the City to maintain $7 million of excess TABOR revenue for several key park initiatives and continue to make historic citywide roadway improvements. The parks, recreation and cultural service department will begin to use these 2B approved funds in 2020, with many projects utilizing funding from additional sources. The 2C ballot initiative will begin in 2021.

2B: funding for park improvements citywide

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Downtown Historic Parks: Acacia, Antlers and Alamo Square

  • Estimated 2B contribution: $2 million
  • Planned improvements: implementation of elements identified in the master plan, which is currently underway

Monument Valley Park

  • Estimated 2B contribution: $1 million
  • Planned improvements: pond restorations, irrigation replacement, historic pavilion restoration, tree replacement and sports lighting for pickleball courts

Palmer Park

  • Estimated 2B contribution: $200,000
  • Planned improvements: wayfinding and signage replacement

Cottonwood Creek Park

  • Estimated 2B contribution: $1.4 million
  • Planned improvements: convert three baseball fields from grass to artificial turf to save on future water expenditures and maintenance time, provide a consistent playing surface, and increase the available playing time for community athletic programs

Leon Young Sports Complex

  • Estimated 2B contribution: $213,000
  • Planned improvements: parking lot repairs will address one of the worst parking lots in the City’s park system; the repairs will minimize hazards and provide a safer space for residents and visitors

Boulder and Thorndale Parks

  • Estimated 2B contribution: $400,000
  • Planned improvements: sport court replacement

Panorama Park

  • Estimated 2B contribution: $500,000
  • Planned improvements: Panorama Park is currently in the master planning stage for a re-envisioned neighborhood park. The community is invested in creating a park that is connected to the neighborhood, has amenities for all ages, ADA connections, lighting, a universally-accessible playground and community gathering space. TABOR retention funds will be leveraged with private, public and grant funding to help fund the water feature and play areas. The estimated total project cost is $6-7 million.

Homestead, Mesa, Legacy Loop and Sand Creek trails improvements

  • Estimated 2B contribution: $1 million
  • Planned improvements: replace old asphalt segments

Fairview and Evergreen Cemeteries

  • Estimated 2B contribution: $45,000
  • Planned improvements: repave parking lots to allow for a safer and improved experience

Norman Bulldog Coleman Community Park Master PlanA plan for the development of a portion of the city that contains proposed land uses, a generalized transportation system, and the relationship of the area included in the plan to surrounding property.

  • Estimated 2B contribution: $242,000
  • Planned improvements: create a master plan for this 54 acre partially-developed community park that is the current home of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks and Rocky Mountain Vibes

2C: 2021-2025 paving list, how did we get here and what to expect

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The first edition of 2C, a five-year 0.62 percent sales tax, was passed by voters in 2015 and is set to repave a total of 1,070 lane miles by the end of 2020. This November, voters again said yes to 2C, this time a five-year 0.57 percent sales tax, slated to pave approximately 884 lane miles.

The strategy behind both editions has been to spread paving equally across the city, so that no area is neglected, and to target roads with an Overall Condition Index (OCI) rating of 30-70. By the end of 2025, 2C paving will have resurfaced approximately one-third of our city’s streets, which now totals 6,155 lane miles. 

More on OCI: OCI ratings, used to indicate the general condition of pavement, range from 1-100 with one being the worst condition and 100 begin the best. Roads rated below 30 must be completely reconstructed. This work is funded as capital projects by the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA), and recent examples of reconstructed roads include Rockrimmon Boulevard, Pikes Peak Avenue and Centennial Boulevard. Roads rated above 70 are still considered in good condition. These roads are treated with preventive maintenance, like chip seal and crack seal, to extend their lifespan. Preventive maintenance is also funded by PPRTA.

A major difference between the first and second editions of 2C is the type of roads that will be paved. The 2016-2020 2C paving list targeted main roads that impact a high volume of traffic. These roads, considered arterials and collectors, accounted for more than 75 percent of paving in the first five years of 2C. These are roads like Union Boulevard, Nevada Avenue, and Austin Bluffs Parkway.

While the 2021-2025 paving list will repave some arterials and collectors in need, the list is comprised of 501 lane miles of residential and local/industrial/commercial lane miles, which is about 57 percent of the roads slated to be paved. This means that neighborhood roads will be greatly impacted by the 2C extension.

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