After reading the article in the Post Independent about the bridge meeting, I can only say that for me at this time the main issue is the consequences, both positive and negative, of building a new bridge and the creating of the "access plan" that seems to go along with it.
Any discussion of a bypass will have to wait until another day unless, as Ken Kriz has written, the bypass will turn out to be Grand Avenue.
So, I'm asking our City Council members where each of you stand at this juncture on the bridge and access issue. It is not enough for me to hear you say "wait and see" and "We are waiting for more information."
The residents of Glenwood Springs are speaking up now about these issues, and I think all of you should be speaking up also, letting your constituents more specifically hear what you are thinking.
I would also like to know where our Chamber stands. What does it mean for Marianne Virgili to say "We are in favor of a new bridge" and not be any more specific when I asked her opinion of the access plan. That sounded to me like an answer a seasoned politician would give and offers nothing to add to the discussion those that live, work, shop and recreate in Glenwood Springs would like to have.
Many of us have attended open house after open house, trying to make heads or tails out of the many posters we have been given to look at. When will we get to see that three-dimensional rendering of the bridge that was asked for months ago? No big decisions should be made on this issue until we have all had a chance to actually view it and attempt to see what this will look like in our downtown and discuss thoroughly the consequences of the changes planned by CDOT, including the access plan.
So I'm asking to let the open meetings begin with an opportunity for the public to interact with council and have a real discussion on these important issues that will so acutely affect us all.
Sheila R. Markowitz
Great letter, Ken Kriz, in the Feb. 12 Post Independent. Couldn't have been said clearer.
I've been thinking along the same lines. I was thinking that if I was a local business owner and it looked like the bridge was going in without relocating Highway 82, or without making better choices for the highway access control plan, I would be moving over to the new "Laurel" area. That's where the tourist action is going be.
Downtown will be even less pedestrian friendly than it is now. And isn't that a shame, especially after the library is going in downtown, and the parking structure is finally getting done - and all the little park improvements throughout downtown. Just when downtown looked like it was going to turn a new page.
The bridge has to be looked at in conjunction with everything else. How could it not be? It connects everything.
Then I was thinking about what would happen if the city did turn down the bridge money? Then what? The bridge will fall! The bridge will fall! I don't think so. I don't think the money will be gone forever. My guess is that if the bridge is turned down, if that's even possible, then CDOT will find even more money faster, because the bridge will still be outdated and in need of replacement.
And I also live out of town without a vote. It would just be great if we could finally get this right. And such a loss if we don't.
We have been talking about a bypass for 40 years. When CDOT asked input from residents I drew up a plan and walked the route with my GPS. I went to the meetings and got nowhere showing my idea. I have some friends that I showed my work to, and they really liked what I did. Only one person has said that CDOT has no interest in my idea at all: Joe Elsen.
CDOT's current plan could destroy downtown business and make Grand Avenue even more congested. A lot of the truck traffic is carrying cargo that is dangerous - more traffic creates a greater possibility of accidents.
This is our town, and we should have a say as to its future. We need to do something now to make an attempt to save this city for future generations to enjoy. Our Grand Avenue Bridge was not designed to be a four-lane bridge. It can revert to two lane and meet codes. If the train needs more vertical space, they can drop the track grade a bit where needed. Same with semitruck vertical space: Drop the roadway a foot or so. The Brooklyn Bridge and Golden Gate bridges are a lot older than our bridge, and they are maintained.
Email me at email@example.com. I will email you my design and idea and a map and letter. I feel that it is time for me to try to get my idea on the table. I do not think that it is a perfect solution, but it is a start, and maybe someone else can use it and come up with a better idea.
Technically "entitlements" are things due someone from one's position in life. Every CEO feels as much entitled to his compensation package, his golden parachute and lower taxes as any senior citizen does for his Social Security and Medicare benefits.
The difference is that Social Security and Medicare are federally administered, nonprofit insurance programs into which one pays in the hope that one's declining years have a certain degree of comfort.
How a nation treats its elderly and those less fortunate in life is the true measure of its greatness.