Las Vegas street corridor improvements are on the B list of Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) projects. For more information about PPRTA, please visit pprta.com. Inclusion on PPRTA’s B list will position Las Vegas Street improvements for a wide range of future funding opportunities including local, state and federal grant programs. Identification of funding sources, or a combination of funding sources for preferred street improvements will be identified during future design phases. Additionally, some improvements will be implemented as redevelopment occurs along the roadway.
Las Vegas Street’s diverse uses and users, technical challenges such as drainage and safety, as well as geographical and right-of-way constraints, have led study planners to envision a future Las Vegas Street with parkway concepts that address several challenges:
- Accommodates the roadway’s varied users with better facilities and improved safety. The road is essential to serving commercial/industrial sized vehicles, has pockets with many pedestrians, and is frequented by bicyclists, both recreationally and as a commuter route. A parkway safely accommodates all users.
- Provides safer access to businesses and industrial facilities throughout the corridor.
- Enhances non-motorized access and connectivity to local trail and open space community assets.
- Addresses drainage issues that occur throughout the corridor and improves roadway infrastructure to meet current standards.
- Enhances the overall aesthetic appearance of the corridor.
The initial set of concepts was shared with the public and have been revised to reflect public input.
The concepts identify the different uses and constraints in each segment of Las Vegas Street. At each transitional point between segments, a roundabout (not pictured) is under consideration to better facilitate movement and safety of all users. The concepts and roundabouts are not final, and the project team continues to work with other agencies and stakeholders throughout the corridor to refine these to a preferred alternative.
The south segment of Las Vegas Street, from Highway 85-87 northward to the Fort Carson railroad spur, is developed on both sides of the road, including small businesses, heavy industry, construction yards, and government facilities. It includes a bus route, trail connections and pedestrians using both sides of the street. The new concept would include bike and pedestrian facilities on both sides of the street.
The south central segment of Las Vegas Street runs from the Fort Carson railroad to the entrance to Recycled Aggregate Products just south of Janitell Road. It has limited development, is constrained by the railroad tracks to the east, and there are presently no sidewalks or curb and gutter on either side of the road. In the future concept, facilities for bicycles and pedestrians are added to the west side of the road, where they can easily connect to the city’s trail system.
In the north-central segment, from south of Janitell Road to Shook’s Run, Las Vegas Street is constrained by railroad tracks to the east (to the right, in the above image). The west side of the street is primarily light industrial, with many driveway accesses. The proposed concept includes sidewalks on both sides of the road, and a bicycle lane on the east side, between the roadway and railroad.
The north segment of Las Vegas Street runs from Shook’s Run to Tejon Street. It is an urban mix of residential and commercial use. Existing conditions do not provide separate facilities for bicycles and vehicular traffic. The proposed concept would widen the sidewalk on the east side into a multi-use trail.
The Las Vegas Street Corridor Study was a federally funded study for the City of Colorado Springs in conjunction with El Paso County and other local agencies. It was conducted by a local team of professionals led by the engineering firm WSP/Parsons-Brinckerhoff. For more than a year in 2015 and 2016, they worked with residents and businesses on Las Vegas Street, as well as the corridor’s many other users, to determine how you use the roadway, and how the future street should function and look.
Study Location and Description
Las Vegas Street is a minor arterial roadway within the City of Colorado Springs, with portions of the road under El Paso County jurisdiction. The study limits spaned a distance of 4.5 miles. It begins at the intersection of Las Vegas and Tejon Streets and runs generally southeast until it ends at US Highway 85/87. While the Las Vegas Street Corridor currently does not experience significant congestion and does adequately serve local and regional transportation needs, there has been little emphasis over the decades on improving safety, traffic operations or upgrading the transportation infrastructure to meet current standards.
The project team conducted several studies covering traffic operations, environmental, land use, right-of-way and other technical issues, as well as dozens of personal interviews/meetings with stakeholders including residents, business owners, property owners, bicycle and trails groups, and government agencies. That work revealed a corridor that is constrained in many ways, but with tremendous potential to better serve all users.
The Corridor’s Needs
The study identified several needs along the corridor:
- Safety Deficiencies
- Substandard Roadway Infrastructure.
- Substandard Bicycle/Pedestrian Infrastructure
- Substandard Connectivity to Trail and Open Spaces
Public outreach during the cooridor study
The project began in the Summer 2015 with data collection and first contact with the business and home owners. Members of our project team visited residents and businesses along the length of Las Vegas Street, obtaining feedback regarding concerns about the street and corridor. Their collective inputs provided project engineers some clear areas to address, including the substandard road condition, safety for bicyclists, drainage, and sight lines.
Over the winter of 2015-16, the project team met with key stakeholder groups, including Colorado Springs Parks & Recreation; the Trails and Open Spaces Coalition; the Mill St. Neighborhood AssociationGenerally, the biggest difference between an HOA and an NA is that an HOA has dues and enforceable covenants, whereas a neighborhood association may or may not have dues and generally will not enforce covenants.; SoCo Velo and Colorado Springs Cycling Club. The project team took all of the feedback received for the project and developed concepts for the future roadway. The project team held their first public open house in mid-July 2016, collecting public comments and concerns about those concepts.
A second public open house in Fall 2016 shared the study’s recommendations.