High Five: Does COVID have you singing the summertime blues?

Never fear: Fun in the sun is slowly coming back into focus. 

Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services reopened two hubs of Southeast Colorado Springs community life for modified summer camps on June 15: Deerfield Hills and Hillside community centers. Camps for both were at capacity before the opening date, and both had strict health and safety guidelines in place, including temperature and symptom checks for young campers and adult staff, curbside drop-off/pickup, smaller group sizes, physical distancing and regular hand-washing breaks. 

Given that both facilities closed their doors in mid-March, just the fact that they are open for summer camps is a big deal. But it gets better. 

The Deerfield Hills Sprayground is back in operation, bringing some much-needed, heat-beating refreshment to this corner of the city. There, too, come some provisos to its use. 

The spray ground is limiting its capacity to 50 people at a time, and routine cleanings are taking place several times a day to keep everyone safe and well. 

If a neighborhood park is more down your alley, there’s a place for you, too. All 137 of the city’s play places are open to the public … as long as the playground occupancy reaches no more than 10 people at a time. As always, physical distancing and hygiene are critical on swings, slides and other playground equipment. 

And here’s a chance to have a say in not just how you recreate in the neighborhood, but also how you get around. The city is moving forward with a plan to add bike lanes to some of Southeast Colorado Springs’ busiest residential-adjacent thoroughfares. 

The project calls for: 

• Expanding bike lanes currently on Chelton Road (now stretching from Bijou Street to Mallard Drive) south all the way to Jet Wing Drive or to an end point between Jet Wing and Hancock Expressway

• Increasing the Jet Wing bike stretches (currently from Wernimont Circle to Hancock Expressway) south to South Academy Boulevard; and 

• Creating bike lanes on Hancock Expressway from Chelton Road to Resnick Drive

The proposal involves reconfiguring the roads from two car lanes in each direction and a dedicated center turn lane, to one lane in each direction with the dedicated turn lane. The existing outside lanes would become cycling spots. 

The three stretches of road have been identified in the city’s cycling master plan as critical corridors for riding. The rework is designed to make it easier and safer for people to get about on foot and via pedal power, as well as in cars. 

To learn more, visit coloradosprings.gov/saferroadssoutheast. The city has also scheduled a virtual public meeting from 6 to 7 p.m., July 14. Research on the project was paid for by the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority’s On-Street Bikeway Improvement program. The actual work could be funded by the city’s Bicycle Excise Tax.

 

Editor

Founding Editor and General Manager Regan Foster holds dual bachelor's degrees in journalism and Spanish and a master's degree in journalism with specialization in political reporting and media management.