This is a view looking east down the 1100 block of West Cucharras Street in the Old Colorado City neighborhood.
Notice anything funny about how the cars are parked?
See all the vehicles hanging over the sidewalk?
Rather than parallel park along the curb, as happens in the vast majority of Colorado Springs neighborhoods, folks on Cucharras park perpindicular to the street.
And if they crowd the sidewalk, who cares?
Clearly, no one on the north side of the block cares. This is the way they’ve lived and parked forever.
And it’s the way they want it to stay.
When the city hired crews to install curbs and gutters on the south side of the block, connecting to existing curbing along Cucharras Park, folks across the street became worried.
Paul McElroy warily viewed the installation of curb and gutter across the street from his century-old bungalow, where he’s lived since 1979.
“They better not be coming over here,” he said, leaning on his fence. “Nobody said anything to me about curbs and gutters. We don’t want them.”
Similar sentiments echoed up and the north side of the street.
The rest of the city can have curbs and gutters, but folks in the 1100 block of Cucharras are perfectly happy with a dirt gutter next to the pavement.
And the city better think twice before it comes around trying to install curbs.
“I’m totally against it,” said Steve Booth, who has lived on Cucharras since 1995. “I want nothing done with the front of our house. They really don’t know what they’re doing.”
His wife, Wendy, said it would be a mad scramble for parking if everyone was forced to parallel park along a curb. Especially since only a couple houses have driveways.
“We have nine homes on our side of the block,” Wendy said. “We’d be losing a lot of parking spots.”
Even worse, Cucharras Park brings a lot of cars to the area.
“We’d all be jockeying for spaces,” Wendy said. “This way, we can get more cars in.”
Other neighbors agree with Paul, Steve and Wendy.
Michael Hay doesn’t want to lose his parking spaces.
“If they have to put in curbs, it would be nice if they put in the type you can drive up over like they have in some parts of the city,” Hay said.
Of course, the city tends to frown on anyone parking on the grass or parkway.
And it’s illegal to block a sidewalk, although police won’t respond to a complaint unless the vehicle is creating a traffic hazard.
“It’s nice to have a place to park and pull in off the street,” Rick said. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
It doesn’t appear the curb and gutters will be “fixed” anytime soon.
Mike Chaves, acting city engineer, says he has no plans to add curbs now.
But he never said never.
“Not at this time,” Chaves said. “We understand some residents don’t want them But there are accessibility issues. Other neighbors want to walk. It’s a balancing act.”