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Grand Avenue indeed a grand roadway

Post Independent Writer

The most critical issue facing Glenwood Springs is traffic congestion on Grand Avenue. Surveys in past years have consistently identified this as our community’s foremost challenge. We now have an opportunity to take a major step forward. By unanimous vote of City Council, a Traffic Congestion Management question will be on our Nov. 2 ballot.Glenwood presently has a one quarter cent sales tax that has been used successfully over the past nine years for the reconstruction and resurfacing of neighborhood streets, acquisition of rights of way along the railroad corridor and other traffic mitigation issues. This tax will expire next year in 2005. The ballot question will ask that the existing one quarter cent tax be extended with an additional one quarter cent added for a total of one half cent. No less than one half of the new one quarter cent tax is designated to be used to advance a final solution for the relocation of Highway 82.Recent councils finally realized that the disruptive traffic on Grand Avenue is not the sole responsibility of the Colorado Department of Transportation. It’s Glenwood’s problem too! The vast majority of our citizens know that the ever-increasing build up of Grand Avenue traffic is destroying the viability of the core of our town. Even if a final plan for the relocation of Highway 82 were to be finalized today, it could take 20 or more years to complete.In 1973, council formally resolved to investigate a possible bypass for Highway 82. Over the past 31 years we’ve conducted eight major studies, an average of one every four years. In 1983, an advisory board composed of 22 citizens, with a vote of 21 to 1, settled on a solution. Nothing happened. As recently as 1999, another major effort by a large group of citizens again recommended a solution. Still, eight studies in 31 years is not enough! We must soon take our first formal and final step forward by beginning an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). It will analyze all potential alternatives as to their impact on the environment and our community as well as its economic viability. One alternative required by the EIS will be to study the consequences of doing nothing. After a great amount of community discussion and debate, one final plan will be settled upon once and for all.Safe and convenient traffic movement is a matter of quality of life, health, and safety for the residents of Glenwood. Our dilemma affects far more than businesses on Grand Avenue. It effects families from children to the elderly who must every day cross this highway. Never forget, Grand Avenue is no longer our street, it is a major state highway.I urge you to vote yes on 2E and 2F.Floyd Diemoz is a long-time resident of Glenwood Springs and was a leading citizen adviser on the Glenwood Canyon project.Floyd Diemoz is a long-time resident of Glenwood Springs and was a leading citizen adviser on the Glenwood Canyon project.


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