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Trouble for legal Incline opening?
By R. SCOTT RAPPOLD
The effort to open the Manitou Incline to legal use has been in drive lately - but could it soon be in park?
Word is that the Manitou Springs City Council could vote at its Feb. 7 meeting on an inter-governmental agreement with Colorado Springs for the management of the popular trail, which gets up to 500,000 visitors a year.
But there could be trouble. The Manitou Springs Parking Authority Board voted Jan. 13 to send a letter to city council asking members to delay a vote until a plan is in place to manage parking. On busy days, people park all along Ruxton Avenue into downtown to hike the Incline.
"The concern of the Parking Authority Board was that we’d heard rumblings that people had already picked a date to 'have an opening,' even though nothing had been signed yet, and we’re concerned no managmenet plan would be implemented for residents in town prior to the opening of the Incline," said Authority vice-chairman Jay Rohrer, who owns a bed-and-breakfast on Ruxton Avenue.
The action is non-binding, since the Authority is an advisory board to the council, but at least one council member agrees.
Matt Carpenter, the Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent champion whose workouts on the Incline helped to popularize it in the 1990s, voted against legal opening before and won't support the IGA without more measures for Manitou, including a parking solution and a fee for users.
"Nobody wants it open more than me. But it's got to be open in a way that Manitou can handle," he said. "In my opinion, there are too many people on the thing."
Check back with outtherecolorado.com later this week. We should know Thursday or Friday if the Incline IGA will be on the Feb. 7 council agenda.