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I was bored and I couldn't sleep and I wanted some i've been wondering about some Colorado Springs Statistics.

this is what I came up with

Colorado Springs pop 370k

land area 186 sq mi

density 1987 people per sq mi

El Paso County

565k land area 2130sq mi ( that's one big ass county)

By contrast I like to compare how it stacks up to other cities in the country, today I use my favorite

Grand Rapids Michigan

196k people, in 45 sq mi, density 4434

Kent County 596k people, in 800 sq mi

What's always interesting to me is the difference in density between the older cities of the east, and the new blooming cities of the west. The government boundaries (city limits ) in the western cities have much wider ranges because of the lack of incorporated land in the west. Whereas cities in the east were built out long ago and have no room to expand their boundaries because they are boxed in by other municipalities. Hence why Colorado Springs is the nations 49th largest city, and places like Grand Rapids aren't even in the top 100 cities, tho they are virtually the same size when it comes to urbanized populations. It makes for an off balance system of federal and local funding.

So then my question to you all would become, when you are in Colorado Springs, does it feel like you're in the middle of a city the size of Cincinatti? They have virtually the same populations by city to city comparison.

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LOL... no... it's a totally unrealistic standard of comparison. A couple of weird things about Colorado Springs. Most of the city is suburb, and most of the cities suburbs are in the city limits. There are only a handful of suburban cities surrounding Colorado Springs. When you are driving in most of the city, you feel like you are in the suburbs of a big city. I mean suburban Denver and suburban Colorado Springs, development wise, traffic wise, virtually the same. Downtown has all the charm of a small city. Downtown Colorado Springs feels like the center of a city of about 100k... not almost 600k.

Welcome to the wide open west.

Hopefully we can start to change it in our lifetimes. :)

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the more people who move there, the more opportunities for density and urban infill you will have my friend.

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Right... and I think Denver is really becoming an example for other mountain west cities. I can only hope they all, including Colorado Springs, will start trying to emulate Denver in hopes of finding the success it has.

You pointed out the size of El Paso County. There are several democrates in Colorado Springs who want a new Colorado Springs city/county form of government carved out of El Paso County. So far no organized effort exists, but it's an issue I hope will be forced because I think it would be good for downtown/central Colorado Springs. Also, residents of a large, incredibly sparsely populated unincorporated area called Black Forest, north of Colorado Springs, voted today on whether to incorporate. The results aren't in yet. I fear they may be delayed. Colorado Springs northern suburbs have been paralyzed by a blizzard. Again. LOL. The unincorporated community of Falcon, east of Black Forest, will be voting on incorporation in May.

I've seen evidence that everyone in Colorado Springs is begining to understand how unsustainable the rate of growth over the last 30 years has been. I think the winter blizzards, and unplowed roads, were a real wake up call.

Edited by Front_Range_Guy

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It looks better than the old site, and it does have new content. I don't think it's the easiest site to navigate in the world. Did you notice the rendering of the nevada/colorado parking garage under "downtown in development" on this page?

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We should petition city council to change Colorado Springs name to "Colosprgs" Pronounced "Kolo-Spergs." Nobody ever writes Colorado Springs, anyway.

Wow. I'm bored.

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The continuum fountain at America the Beautiful Park was officially dedicated today. It was off most of the day due to high winds. Hopefully this weekend the weather will be nice and I can get some pics.

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John Hazelhurst had a pretty decent article in The Colorado Springs Business Journal today about the success of downtown redevelopment in Pueblo & Manitou Springs... and the lack thereof thus far in Colorado Springs.

I seem to remember reading that posting snippets was okay. Flog accordingly if I'm mistaken, mods.

County Commissioner Jim Bensberg points out that Manitou and Pueblo primed the pump with tax increases, which kind of jump-started development. In El Paso County and in Colorado Springs, our citizens are tax-averse, so that takes away that option.
Edited by Front_Range_Guy

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I'm taking a break from SSP.

Colorado Springs will never be forgiven for Amendment 2 over there. As if it's Colorado Springs fault. Colorado Springs didn't do anything to anybody. Some people in Colorado Springs did. Don't blame the entire city for a couple of morons. It happened when I was 10. I don't even remember it. Why the hell should I be forever punished for it? I mean, I'm gay for chrissakes... this isn't the only town where homophobia has ever existed, and still exists, and I'm tired of paying for it. For progressives they sure can't let go of the past. People here fought back during that time. KGAY radio was launched here during that time. We continue to have a strong, close knit gay community... and yeah some evangelicals shoot off their mouths from time to time, but I've been in and out of gay clubs several times the last few years and I've never witnessed or heard about any attacks prompted by someones sexuality happening here. In fact last year when I wasn't single my boyfriend and I would hold hands in public and we didn't even get murdered or anything! In conclusion. I'm tired of being made to feel bad for where I live when I didn't do anything wrong, and when the city as a whole didn't do anything wrong. Anymore than I blame Denver as a whole for Tancredo or Texas as a whole for Bush or Germany as a whole for Hitler. Screw them.

::rant over::

Edited by Front_Range_Guy

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With RT moving to Colorado and a couple of other people posting regularly, I guess now is a good time try to give up SSP cold turkey again. I'm addicted to that place, but it's so bad for me.

Anyway, let's see what's worth mentioning out of Colorado Springs today.

Los Angeles based Rancho Liborio has opened a store in Colorado Springs. In addition to providing service to an underserved market, this store is also good because it brings new life to one of dozens of dying strip malls in the east central part of the city. Colorado Springs is scrambling to fill empty shopping centers as businesses "follow the roof tops" east and north, out of city limits, taking tax revenue with them. Yes, city council, there is a down side to unchecked suburban sprawl.

They... whoever "they" are... have hung a sign up on the I-25 bridge as you cross under the interstate from Downtown Colorado Springs to the west side, welcoming you to Old Colorado City. I'm not sure what the implications are... Old Colorado City doesn't actually start for several miles west of Downtown. The West Colorado corridor is old, historic even... and very eclectic. One of the only legitimately urban areas in Colorado Springs. I'm not sure what the ultimate goal is in lumping it in with Old Colorado City? Maybe a scheme to attract tourist dollars?

Still no movement on Cooper Tower or the Embassy Suites. With the economy in the crapper, that's no big surprise. We should see a 10-story hotel rising in the far north suburbs this year... possibly very soon. We should start to see work on the Olympic offices accelerating now too, with that deal inked.

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Los Angeles based Rancho Liborio has opened a store in Colorado Springs. In addition to providing service to an underserved market, this store is also good because it brings new life to one of dozens of dying strip malls in the east central part of the city. Colorado Springs is scrambling to fill empty shopping centers as businesses "follow the roof tops" east and north, out of city limits, taking tax revenue with them. Yes, city council, there is a down side to unchecked suburban sprawl.

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I've only been here in Greenville, SC a short time (going on 8 years), but I've witnessed the same thing here. When I had first moved here, it was obvious that the "big box" retailers and all that follow had moved off of Laurens Road here and over to the Haywood Road area, around the Haywood Mall. Then, over time, as more and more residents poured into the southeastern suburbs of Greenville, these big-box retailers migrated toward Woodruff Road, leaving behind empty strip malls on Haywood and Laurens both. If I had to guess, the big migration in Colorado Springs has been toward Powers and away from Academy? Is that correct?

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Adding to my previous post...

There has also been an insane amount of development northeast toward Falcon and in the tri-lakes area... but yes, Powers is really the problem area right now.

Another example is the Penrose-St. Francis hospital system. I was born at St. Francis Hospital downtown in 1983. It closed and moved east to Penrose Community Hospital on Academy Blvd. That's where my sister was born in 1987, and where my nephew was just born. Now, Penrose Community is being shut down in favor of a brand new hospital, St. Francis Medical Center, at Powers and Woodmen. It's a text book study for "cancerous sprawl." The growth spreads, thrives, sucking away all of the areas resources, then moves on, leaving death behind it. I'll give city council credit for actively working to fill in the gaps. Hopefully it isn't too little too late.

In other news that I find entertaining, the El Paso County District Attorney is in a bit of hot water.

Edited by Front_Range_Guy

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Although I feel the retailers following the rooftops is due to greed, I have mixed feelings about a healthcare provider doing so. Partially, it's greed, I suppose...but mostly, it's the whole idea of keeping healthcare close to the people who need it. Minutes = lives in many cases, so the closer people are to the hospital, the better off they will be.

Here in Greenville, hospitals don't relocate, they just expand and open new locations or new "campuses." I can't imagine a hospital moving altogether.

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What bothers me about what is happening now is that these businesses aren't leaving abandoned neighborhoods... they are just moving out into new sprawl. People living in the older subdivisions have to drive further now, but it's not as if the older subdivisions are emptying out.

Edited by Front_Range_Guy

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This article in this weeks Independent caught my eye.

I have mixed feelings. This stretch is on the southern edge of downtown. It's one of the few parts of town that feels urban with an eclectic mix of businesses and low income housing options, bright flashing lights, and people walking up and down the streets 24-hours a day. It does have a lot of crime... and it does probably look seedy to out of towners. My biggest fear is that this will be yet ANOTHER case of a developer coming in and closing down a business with big promises, only to have the project not go forward. As bad as it is now, a corridor of empty buildings would be so much worse and it's a situation we are starting to see in some of the city's other "urban renewal" sites.

In fact, I'd say I'm downright gun shy when it comes to grandios proposals. I'd much rather hear about plans for a modest project that has a chance in hell of getting built than another pie-in-the sky fantasy.

There is, by the way, a big crane hovering over the south part of downtown. I'm not postive, but I'm fairly certain it's just there to work on the expansion of the county garage. Which is funny, because the county is 8 million dollars over budget for the year. The people in this county aren't willing to pay taxes. We get what we pay for and in the coming years, I'm afraid we are going to be getting a lot less out of local government. I'm prepared to deal with it, I hope the whiners who aren't willing to fund government but expect five star service are.

Edited by Front_Range_Guy

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This is becoming more of a blog than a discussion. :P

Anyway, I don't know if I've mentioned 2-way Tejon on here yet. Our desperate downtown partnership decided one way to bring more shoppers into downtown would be to switch Tejon Street from a 1 way street to a 2 way street. It had been 1 way since the 70's, and last month they made the switch. I'm fairly indifferent... I don't think this type of change will help downtown business any. I don't think people are saying "oh boy, I can't wait to go drive in 2 DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS on Tejon Street! REVOLUTIONARY!." That said, it is nice to be able to exit I-25 at Tejon and drive northbound through downtown, rather than having to weave my way east to Nevada or west to Cascade. Anyway, people on the Gazette's comment section are predictably beotching. They claim it is causing extra congestion. A... I doubt it. B... take Nevada or Cascade if you don't like Tejon, and C... you're downtown, of course there will be some traffic... unless the city is completely dead. Whiners.

The state democratic convention will be at the Colorado Springs World Arena next weekend. About 10,000 delegates are expected to attend. It should be a nice boost to the economy, but we'll see if any protestors cause trouble. After the St. Patricks Day parade debacle in 2007, you never can tell.

Oh... a local television station reports Colorado Springs economy is in the worst shape it's ever been in... at least since they started keeping records. That's nice.

Edited by Front_Range_Guy

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If I may comment on your blog :P ... To open it up to two-way traffic is OK...but from my experience, Tejon wasn't all that exciting to me...nor was any part of downtown COS, really. It's missing some pedestrian energy (and trees). I have an idea. Why not close Tejon off to vehicle traffic altogether between Colorado and Cimarron and make it a pedestrian mall of sorts - kinda like Pearl Street in Boulder or the 16th Street Mall in Denver? Just a thought.

Perhaps Colorado Springs could follow in the footsteps of so many cities around the country and send some city officials over here to Greenville (I bet the tax payers would love that) to study first-hand what Greenville has done to revitalize its downtown. Couldn't you imagine the sidewalks along Tejon in Downtown Colorado Springs looking like Main Street here in Greenville?

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That would be nice... citizen support for downtown Colorado Springs goes something like this:

"I agree, we should make downtown better, as long as it doesn't cost us anything."

Despite the city and county governments collapsing under their own weight, the extreme conservative majority here are convinced they are over taxed, and refuse to be taxed any further. It's one of my biggest frustrations. Why all of these people think they can move here from other states to escape high taxes, and not be expected to pay for the infrastructure that we had to build to support their being here is beyond me. When did moderation and rational thought go out of style?

So... it's really up to the private sector right now. The city council is helping where they can, but in a town of libertarians who think the government is out to get them at every turn, the city's hands are largely tied.

The Downtown Partnership has entertained the idea of a pedestrian mall. They say you have to have a certain critical mass of people living and working downtown for that to work, and our downtown doesn't have it.

Edited by Front_Range_Guy

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Adding to something I said in another thread about the support downtown gets from residents here... I should say that downtown business owners and residents have proven more than willing to invest in themselves. Last year they approved the Downtown Development Authority tax, and while I question the Downtown Partnerships effectiveness, the fact is, downtown is a better place because of the work they do, and they seem to be getting better all of the time.

downtown80903 is the downtown partnerships website, and gives a pretty good idea of the work they do.

Edited by Front_Range_Guy

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