The City of Salida released the following statement to announce the official launch of Future 50: Re-Vision Rainbow Boulevard. To see the original release, click here.
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Imagine driving into Salida and the first things you see as you enter into town is an art installation with a sign that says “Welcome to Salida!”. Or imagine your children walking or biking down Highway 50 from the pool, to Fifty Burger, then back without your fearing for their safety. Or imagine Highway 50 as more of a complete neighborhood, with new housing, more businesses, and a beautiful streetscape. These are exactly the type of ideas the City of Salida will be looking for in its Future 50: Re-Vision Rainbow Boulevard project, a 4 month community visioning and planning process where residents will determine what they want the Highway 50 corridor to be like in the future.
“The Highway 50 corridor is incredibly important to our community. It serves as a major transportation route through the region and is economically vital as much of Salida’s retail business and hotels are located there,” explains Mayor P.T. Wood. “However, this area is changing rapidly. As Salida grows, the land along and around Highway 50 includes some of the last remaining big parcels for new development. As a community, we need to have a discussion about what this part of town will be like in the future.”
The project was born from an a-ha moment during a fall 2017 affordable housing workshop sponsored by Community Builders, a non-profit that provides support to local communities. Leaders from the City of Salida, Poncha Springs, Buena Vista and Chaffee County were discussing potential for affordable housing in each community, when the group came to an eye-opening realization—that Salida has very few places to grow within city limits, and that Highway 50 is the likely focal point for the growth in the future. The conclusion drawn was this offered an amazing opportunity to try to be proactive and to thoughtfully plan how to integrate older and newer parts of Salida.
“We have an opportunity as a community to reimagine how this part of town connects to and serves the community better, ” says Community Development Director Glen Van Nimwegen. “The pattern and appearance of the highway corridor was set in the 50s, and our needs as a community have changed. How do we grow in a way that meets our needs as a community today, while staying true to our community’s values and character?”
A key element of Future 50: Re-Vision Rainbow Boulevard will be engaging the community to answer these questions. With public engagement expertise provided by Community Builders, the project’s Community Leadership Committee will incorporate a wide variety of engagement tools such as online and text message based questionnaires, booths at community events, and public workshops to involve as much of the community as possible in the development of the vision.
“We know everyone is really busy. Not everyone can come to a meeting, so we are creating ways for you to get involved on your own time,” says Salida City Planner Kristi Jefferson. “This is going to be a very different kind of public process for Salida. We are really excited about exploring new ways to involve residents in discussions and decision making.”
In order for this project to be successful, Future 50 needs to hear from you. What do you want the Highway 50 corridor to look like in the future? What ideas do you have for this part of our community. To learn more and get involved, go to www.future-50.com or contact Community Development Director Glen Van Nimwegen at 719-530-2631.