After 4 years and much hard work by many people the Manitou Incline is expected to be legal for hiking on February 1st, 2013. The U.S. Senate approved a bill clearing up the railway right of way issue for the Incline late Sunday. Sen. Michael Bennet pushed the bill in the Senate and Rep. Doug Lamborn led the effort in the House where the bill passed back in July.
The Manitou Incline management plan identified 13 key steps to complete before the Incline could be made legal. Now that all of those steps have been taken, the only things remaining are for Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs to pass resolutions making hiking it legal. The Colorado Springs City Council is expected to vote on the resolution at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Manitou Springs has indicated it will vote on resolution during a Special Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 29.
“As we look at closing this chapter of the process with a vote to legalize the Incline from the City of Colorado Springs and the City of Manitou Springs’ City Councils, we can begin the next chapter in our process – improving the Incline,” said Sarah Bryarly, Landscaping Architect and Project Manager for the City of Colorado Springs.
The Incline Friends is the non-profit tasked with fundraising for improving the Incline and have been a big part of legalizing the Incline. Incline Friends will need your help in a major fundraising push. Total cost to implement the plan will run about $1 million and they need $200,000 of that by the first week of March to meet a critical grant deadline. They expect much of this to come from private donors but not all of it.
They’ll start with the Incline Friends Karma Hour, 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15 at Bristol Brewery (1647 S. Tejon). Bristol will donate $1 to the Incline Friends for every pint sold.
In the meantime, I’d like to encourage you to join Incline Friends and/or make an online contribution (find the PayPal “Donate” link on the main page of the Incline Friends website.) There’s also a donation tube at the bottom of the Incline that you can throw in a buck or more when you hike the Incline.