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Salida Community Development Director Glen Van Nimwegen and Chaffee County Planner Christie Barton converse with local residents Sunday about the future of the U.S. Highway 50 corridor in Salida. The information both at the Salida Hometown Picnic was part of the Future 50 community engagement process (photo by Joe Stone).

The Future 50: Re-Vision Rainbow Boulevard project seeks to engage community members in creating and implementing a vision for the development of Salida’s U.S. Highway 50 corridor from Oak Street to Walmart.

As indicated by the Future 50 website, ( desirable outcomes could include making the Highway 50 corridor safe, walkable and economically vibrant. But the focus of the project is to shape development of the corridor to support the values and vision of the community.

Community engagement is, therefore, vital to the success of the project, and the community engagement process has begun, with planning officials setting up an information booth at the Salida Hometown Picnic Sunday.

Salida Community Development Director Glen Van Nimwegen and Chaffee County Planner Christie Barton listened to residents’ concerns, answered questions and took written comments from local residents.

Van Nimwegen said, “Surprisingly a lot” of people had stopped by the Future 50 booth to talk about he project. “We had somebody who commutes on a bike down Highway 50 that gave us a whole lot of good information about what he faces every day.”

He pointed to a map of Highway 50 where red dots had been added to show where people had witnessed or experienced wrecks and other dangerous situations. “We’ll record all of these and we’re going to repeat this at a lot of different events … through September and a little bit into October.”

Van Nimwegen said the next phase of community input will involve design charrettes – collaborative sessions in which urban designers will sketch possible solutions to the design challenges unique to the Highway 50 corridor. “So we’re actually creating a picture.”

“We’ve gotten comments that some people don’t necessarily want to rehab their building,” said Barton. “They’re going to … rebuild … and part of that is what’s the vision for the area.”

“This is how a lot of people discover Salida,” said Van Nimwegen, emphasizing the importance of putting “our best foot forward … on Highway 50.” He also pointed out the importance of ensuring that the Highway 50 corridor remains an economically strong source of sales tax revenue for the community.

As detailed on the Future 50 website, the vision that emerges from the community engagement process will provide a framework that guides and informs technical recommendations and an action plan to achieve community goals.

Technical recommendations will focus on possible land-use policies and zoning that implement the vision developed by the community – use, density, affordability and regulatory issues, for example.

Technical recommendations will also address transportation and streetscape features that could include traffic calming, bicycle and pedestrian safety, and streetscape design that encourages “quality development and livable neighborhoods.”

The Future 50 project is made possible by a grant from Community Builders. The project management team is tasked with the day-to-day management of the project with assistance from Community Builders:

  • Christie Barton, planner, Chaffee County
  • Glen Van Nimwegen, community development director, Salida
  • Kristi Jefferson, planner, Salida
  • P.T. Wood, mayor, Salida
  • David Lady, public works director, Salida
  • Jillian Sutherland, director of programs, Community Builders
  • Tom Pokorny, owner, Natural Habitats Design
  • Bud Tymczyszyn, associate, Community Builders

Future 50 is directed by a community leadership committee. Committee members are:

  • Francie Bomer, Salida Planning Commission
  • Cynda Green, resident
  • Drew Peternell, Trout Unlimited
  • Lori Roberts, Salida Chamber of Commerce
  • Rob White, property owner, Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
  • Harry Brull, Salida Bike Club, BCG Consulting
  • Rick Holland, Split Happens Bowling Center
  • Jeff Post, First Colorado Land Office
  • Joe Smith, High Country Bank
  • Marjo Curgus, Del Corazon Consulting
  • Kat McQuillan, Tenderfoot Health Collective
  • Jerry Potts, property owner
  • Adam Smock, Loyal Duke Lodge
  • Terry Deveney, property owner
  • Sam Mick, resident
  • Eric Ramsey, Soulcraft Brewing Co.
  • Philip Sterling, Amigo Motor Lodge
  • Kestrel Felt, resident
  • Jim Miller, resident
  • Donna Rhoads, Salida Parks, Open Space and Trails
  • Justin Veltri, Silver Ridge Lodge
  • Deborah Fields, D. Fields Design
  • Bob Morasko, Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center
  • Steve Riden, Riden Associates
  • Jennifer Visitacion, Moonstone Ventures