George Kaplan wrote:Why does anything in detail need to be put into this law?
First of all, it's not a law, it's an agreement between Manitou Springs, the Cog railway company, Colorado Springs, and the US Forest Service. That's
why it's complicated.
The parking situation is currently a mess, and needs to be fixed somehow. The proposal tries to deal with all the competing factions: Barr Trail overnight users, the Cog people, the residents on Ruxton (who are currently getting blocked out of their driveways and might not be able to get fire engines when they need them), etc. Oh, yeah, and the incline users.
The dawn-to-dusk restriction was inserted by the Colorado Springs Parks & Recreation department, who are going to be managing this operation when/if it's approved. Also, the incline itself needs repair; there are about 600 ties that need to be replaced (out of 1800? something like that). The drainage of the thing is bad; erosion is a problem in several places, and there's a pipeline buried next to the Incline that is important to keep working (it feeds the hydroelectric plant). There is no official ("system") trail for descending (just a web of social trails and the old road, which for some reason isn't an official FS trail). Getting Forest Service approval for the descent trail requires an environmental assessment, which is expensive and required by Federal law.
It's always easier to trespass than it is to get something "official" in place, but in the long run most people won't know the difference. Of course, when the task force surveyed incline users they found that about half didn't even know it was closed now (even though they all hiked past the "no trespassing" sign).
The current situation can't last; eventually somebody (probably the cog) will close the thing for real, if something isn't done about it.
Rastaman566 wrote:Will there still be free parking anywhere?
Parking on Ruxton below the Iron Springs Chateau will still be free (probably, it's up to Manitou), although there will be fewer spaces than before because some will be reserved for residents, and some will be closed off to make way for a pedestrian path along the upper part of the road. Someday, maybe, if funds are found and the planets align, there might be a new, larger, free lot a little further down off the north side of Ruxton. I think that's in Phase C of the plan, where C stands for "Century".
Climbing at altitude is like hitting your head against a brick wall — it's great when you stop. -- Chris Darwin