Fort Collins in the 1940s: Historic Contexts
In 1947 the city comprised 2.75 mi.², with 68 miles of streets, nine miles of which were paved. By 1948 the 541 parking meters collected almost $32,000 in the first eleven months of that calendar year. The Light and Power Department reached 4,500 residential customers and 1,000 that were commercial. In addition to the golf course and cemetery the town boasted four parks: Lincoln, Washington, City, and Fort Collins Mountain Park. The latter was located 36 miles up Poudre Canyon. The city payroll had 16 categories, of which the Electric Department, police and fire, water mains and maintenance, streets and alleys, and the Municipal Railroad comprised the larger portion. In 1946 voters approved a quarter of a million bond issue for sewage, with completion of the plant scheduled for 1948.
As with other Colorado communities, Fort Collins enjoyed a transportation balance, with relative newcomers (automobiles, buses, and trucks) supplementing the prior railroad and streetcar systems. Traffic jams were a thing of the future, and private automobiles provided easy access to mountain recreation areas as well as alleviating rural isolation. As automobiles more and more were to become the preferred means of transportation they would exert fundamental change not only upon streets and traffic, but also upon the layout of the city itself in terms of commercial, industrial, and residential districts.
Fort Collins Local History Archive. Fort Collins Time Line 1940.
Hill. Colorado Urbanization and Planning Context.
Information, City of Fort Collins. Fort Collins Local History Archive Folder Fort Collins 1940-1950.