This question has troubled Woodland Park officials for years, as they grapple with a main downtown, adjacent to a major thoroughfare, and struggle with reality as a drive-through junction. In the process, the town has been bombarded with nicknames and future dreams over the last several decades, along with plenty of notable fights over business access, parking and pedestrian safety.
Carving a real identity as a downtown has been a tricky proposition for Woodland Park.
But last week, Main Street program leaders put these past feuds aside and presented a final vision statement, declaring their real identity as a vibrant mountain western town that welcomes a variety of styles. Just don’t mention the words “urban” or “strip mall.”
Ready to beat the drum beats, here is the official proposed vision for the new version of Woodland Park: “Downtown Woodland Park is a vibrant, artistic center of the community where all the generations gather, walk, play, shop, dine and live in an historic and majestic mountain setting.” Hold the applause, please, as the Woodland Park City Council must give the final okay before any further action can occur in adopting future designs and business plans.
And as for the big issue involving a future highway bypass or alternative route, plenty of questions still persist. A future bypass is now listed as an identified need in the long-range highway improvement plan for 2045, with zilch funding dollars. So don’t get your hopes up too much, as what you see now in Woodland Park is probably what you are going to get when it comes to future traffic patterns.
These are some of the themes echoed during a well-attended community meeting at the Country Lodge last Wednesday, hosted by the Main Street group in Woodland Park, and led by Sheryl Trent of SBrand Consulting, who does work for the state Department of Local Affairs