City Government

The Everlasting Westside Avenue Action Plan

Photo Credit: KRDO

In December 2018, KRDO reported that a 2-year road project, known as the Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP), wouldn’t be completed as scheduled, and the cost projections had increased from $31 million to $41 million. This area is also referred to as “no-man’s land.” According to that December article, planners were estimating that the project would be completed in June. Here we are, a day away from June, and now the WAAP website indicates, “Substantial completion is now anticipated by summer.”

Well, that’s clear as mud!

All of this inspired a friend of SpringsTaxpayers, Manitou Springs resident Paotie Dawson, to write a bit of satire about it. We hope those of you experiencing the closures and delays are able to have a chuckle about it.

NOTE: This is satire. We know these things didn’t actually happen. Have some fun along with us!

(Manitou Springs) – At a press conference following a City Council meeting Tuesday night at City Hall in Manitou Springs, City officials celebrated the announcement that the Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) will continue for another four years after slight changes were made to the current plan. “We decided we needed to do more after receiving so many complaints about the WAAP,” said Sarah McGirdle, an assistant with the Planning Department. She said the current WAAP will be completed, “hopefully” by late 2020. WRAP! is expected to begin immediately following the conclusion of WAAP, but only after a six-month break.

“Everybody has an opinion, and trust me: we heard from everybody,” said McGirdle. “Everybody also had a solution, and that inspired us to redraw the old WAAP and redo it and rename it as, ‘Westside Rehabilitation Action Plan,’ or WRAP!” She stated the changes have been approved by the Planning Commission after City Council unanimously voted to support the conversion from WAAP to WRAP!

Among the changes in the newly approved WRAP! are more street lights on Manitou Avenue from Beckers Lane west to the underpass at Highway 24. McGirdle indicated there were “numerous complaints that the street was too dark” after street lights were installed last fall, and, “We’re expecting about 200 more street lights just for that section.” She also said the city is expected to redo the bridge spanning Manitou Avenue near Beckers Lane.

“It … it just wasn’t right for us,” squinted McGirdle as she raised a flattened hand and tilted it at a specific, unknown angle.  “We talked with the contractor and he agreed that everything should be about five inches slightly to the right and sloped away from” Fountain Creek, and “so … we have to redo WAAP.” She also said WRAP! will include a 100-foot high concrete pedestrian overpass that will be built beginning from Beckers Lane toward and over Highway 24, and directly into the parking lot of the municipal pool.

Astroturf will be laid down on the banks of Fountain Creek. McGirdle said, “It’s for insurance purposes.” A Public Works employee at the press conference suggested installing giant plastic trees along Fountain Creek for public safety purposes. All but one person at the press conference nodded in agreement. Also planned under the new WRAP! agreement will be giant Jumbo-tron electronic screens to replace the familiar “Manitou Springs” arches that greet drivers at both ends of the city. Among those in attendance at the press conference were Colorado Springs City Council President Richard Skorman and City Councilor Jill Gaebler.

McGirdle indicated funding for the $135 million WRAP! will “come from some other city, probably Colorado Springs.” Both Skorman and Gaebler seemed to suffer immediate and apparent coughing attacks. When asked about traffic delays and irked drivers, McGirdle shrugged. “Look, we get it. Construction is a pain in the butt, right? But we have to redo this project because we wanted to incorporate the widely diverse set of opinions we received during the WAAP construction project. Plus, we all in the Planning Department really need to keep our jobs.”

In addition to expecting Colorado Springs to fund the bulk of WRAP!, Manitou Springs City Council will consider a new sales tax hike of 70% to fund WRAP! City Council is expected to vote on funding in June.

McGirdle said construction for WRAP! should, “be wrapped up by late 2026. It’ll be WRAP!’ed! Get it? That’s hilarious!”

Manitou Springs mayor Ken Jaray was unavailable for comment. McGirdle deferred all questions to an employee working in the bathroom stall at City Hall.

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