Section of Ridge Rd. to be transformed into plaza as part of Westside Avenue Action Plan

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Starting on Monday, Jan. 8, Ridge Road will be permanently closed between Colorado and West Pikes Peak Avenues as part of the Westside Avenue Action Plan. 

City officials say the short stretch of road will be transformed into a transit and trail plaza with bus, pedestrian, and bicycle services. The idea to shut down this part of Ridge Road came from a Colorado Springs traffic study that included public comment.

With the road shutting down, it was determined that a plaza was needed in the area to increase safety for both drivers and pedestrians. 

"The plaza serves as a pedestrian, transit, and bike connection point along the corridor and improves the aesthetic of the area. It will also improve overall traffic flow with the addition of a bus lane for pickup and drop off that will be coordinated with traffic signal phasing" said Dennis Barron, project manager.

The transit and trail plaza will include a new aesthetic wall between Pikes Peak and Colorado Avenues, street lighting, sidewalks, landscaping, bike racks, a bike repair vending machine, and a Mountain Metro queue jump. A queue jump is a separate lane for buses to allow for safe passenger loading, unloading and easy transition back into traffic with a new coordinated signal system.

"This new bus stop will enhance safety for those using the bus service in the area and will provide an additional pull off lane so traffic on the road is not disrupted," said District 3 El Paso County Commissioner Stan VanderWerf.

For those needing to get around this closure, take Colorado Avenue to South 36th Street or South 34th Street to connect with West Pikes Peak Avenue and Ridge Road. 

The plaza is expected to be open in the fall of 2018. 

The cost of the plaza is part of the $31 million budget for the Westside Avenue Action Plan. The entire WAAP project that stretches for about 1.3 miles of West Colorado and Manitou Avenues is expected to be complete in Dec. 2018. 


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