From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
“We want everyone to know what’s happening on Fountain Creek,” Montoya told about 30 people who showed up to see for themselves. “This is not just for the East Side, but for all of Pueblo. . . . You need to get out and see it. Touch it. You have to walk the talk.” What planners have in mind are improvements along the creek from Eighth Street to Fountain Creek’s confluence with the Arkansas River. On Friday, people walked, biked or rode in carts along the trail, getting a glimpse of possibilities and problems that for many have just been spots on a map up until now. “The question we’re trying to answer is ‘What can we do to provide better connectivity?’ ” said Scott Hobson, assistant city manager.
Several projects are in the works along Fountain Creek, including the trail improvements, an urban redevelopment project and a sediment removal demonstration project. There are also some nearly 20-year-old plans to improve Runyon Lake that could be woven into the other projects. A trail through the area could incorporate ideas from each, while building on existing areas along Fountain Creek and adding new features like a skate park, water play parks and fields, Hobson said. “We have to look at what improvements will occur and in what sequence,” Hobson said.
The city task force will attempt to settle on an alternative for the first phase of the project in July, under a Great Outdoors Colorado planning grant. Possibilities include closing some streets, creating new recreation areas or simply building on fixtures already in place like Plaza Verde Park and El Centro del Quinto Sol. There could be a new bike and pedestrian bridge at First Street and even riverfront housing, Hobson said. At one point along the trail, Hobson explained how sediment removed from the river could be used on the banks to provide a more inviting slope as people approach the creek.