FROM beacon crossing lights to wayfinding, the new year will bring new ways to navigate Downtown Alamosa.
The city of Alamosa over the past few years has been working on remaking Main Street and the core of the city into a pedestrian-friendly zone. The efforts are intended to create a livelier downtown for residents and merchants.
The changes so far have resulted in a road diet for vehicles with a narrower Main Street intended to slow traffic and cater to the walking crowd.
In addition to physical changes to Main Street, the city in partnership with Visit Alamosa has established a monthly event series called First Fridays to help generate more activities for residents and merchants.
First Fridays in 2023 will launch Jan. 6 and continue the first Friday of every month through December. It features a Market on Main with downtown merchants and local entertainment.
“We ask businesses to celebrate with us on the First Fridays of every month and make it a Friday evening kind of party,” said Elizabeth Sumner, director of destination development for Visit Alamosa.
HERE’S more of what to expect in 2023 for Downtown Alamosa. Answers and information provided by Alamosa Director of Development Services Rachel Baird.
Beacon crossing lights on Main Street
Coming early spring 2023 at Main Street and San Juan Avenue and Main Street and Hunt Avenue. The Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons are intended to help pedestrians cross Main while slowing down traffic to the posted 25 MPH speed limit. “We worked with our Region 5 Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) staff over the last year on the engineering for the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) project. Ultimately, there were some unanticipated safety standards from CDOT that deviated from our conceptual design and as such, we went to City
Council for approval to move forward with the project. Council approved the changes and we are working on the Special Use Permit process with CDOT for installation in early spring 2023.” San Juan and Hunt are key corridors for activity downtown, including an upcoming remake of Hunt Avenue, and the reason why pedestrians will see the flashing beacon lights at those intersections.
Two new downtown parking lots
Expect construction early 2023 for a new parking lot behind Alamosa State Bank on Main and a new parking lot around Sixth and San Juan later in the year as part of a Friday Health project. “The two parking lots funded with the Division of Local Affairs (DOLA) $430,000 Rural Economic Development (REDI) grant will be constructed in early 2023 before the grant funds expire at the end of June. The Fourth Street parking lot (went out to bid) on Dec. 2, 2022, and a new cost estimate for the public-private partnership parking lot with Friday Health Plans was completed at the end of November and is moving forward on the engineering phase,” according to Baird.
Helping visitors find their way around the core of the city and to places like Cole Park and the trails along the Rio Grande, the San Luis Valley Museum on Hunt Avenue, the Visit Alamosa Welcome Center on Sixth Street and other attractions is the reason Alamosa will see new wayfinding in 2023. “The wayfinding signs created during the Downtown Design Plan process were fabricated and delivered in early November. They will be installed in early spring 2023 at the same time as the wayfinding kiosks funded in a partnership with Alamosa Convention & Visitors Bureau completed earlier this year.”
The eyesore and public nuisance that is the Walsh Hotel will continue to get addressed in the new year. “The city closed on the purchase of the Walsh Hotel on November 11, 2022, in order to expedite the demolition of the public nuisance,” said Baird. “If we have site control, we qualify for brownfield grant funding. We have completed a Phase I Environmental Assessment and are working with the Colorado Brownfields Partnership and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) on finding state and/or federal funding for the asbestos abatement and building demolition.”