Compromise reached in Austin Bluffs truck route discussion

Colorado Springs City Council members are set to approve a compromise agreement that would allow medium-size trucks to use Austin Bluffs Parkway.

On the consent agenda for the Nov. 10 council meeting, is an agreement that would allow trucks with up to four axles to use Austin Bluffs Parkway as a designated east-west truck route. The agreement, part of an overall revamping of truck routes in Colorado Springs, requires City of Colorado Springs staff work with UCCS to create and signals for closing Austin Bluffs to trucks during bad weather. The decision will be revisited in a year with a formal report to City Council.

“Compromise is the essence of diplomacy,” Brian Burnett, vice chancellor, Administration and Finance said. “We wanted no through truck traffic on the parkway and the trucking industry wanted no limits on trucks, including over-the-road 18 wheelers. The compromise is acceptable, particularly since we have the opportunity to revisit the decision with the Citizens Transportation Advisory Board and city council after monitoring the change for a year.”

Burnett represented the university and neighbors to the campus at an Oct. 27 meeting of the city council and at previous meetings of the Colorado Springs City Council, the Citizens Transportation Advisory Board and a trucking issues subcommittee. Burnett articulated concerns that heavy trucks would have difficulty negotiating the steep grade of Austin Bluffs Parkway and sharp curves near the campus, placing pedestrians and other motorists in danger.

The compromise was supported by neighborhood associations near the campus as well as by the Colorado Springs Christian School, Burnett said. The council voted unanimously, 9-0, to approve it.

To see video of the presentation before the city council, visit www.springsgov.com/instantitems/formal under item eight, truck route plan.

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