Guest opinion: GMA joined the creative detour planning
Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, is a day we will all remember for a lifetime. Some of us drove the old Grand Avenue bridge for the last time and recorded it for the next generation.
Some of us found ourselves in a panicked crowd at City Market trying to figure out what 95 days worth of groceries would look like. Others were home Googling maps, studying CDOT’s website and checking out bus routes, hoping it was not going to be as bad as everyone thought. In our household, the main discussion was about the 6 a.m. football practice and my 17-year-old son who wanted to camp out on the school lawn so he would not be late.
Just like at home, I knew that a little discussion and planning at our independent medical practice would help everyone survive the bridge closure and come out relatively unscathed. At Glenwood Medical Associates, we put our collective heads together a few months ago to ensure that our patients receive the care they need during the closure.
Most of our physicians are now taking appointments at both our locations — Silt and Glenwood Springs — offering patients an alternative drive to Silt if that’s more convenient for them. We also doubled the number of providers available on Saturday mornings to avoid peak traffic times and added to our staff overall to ensure easy access. And if patients would rather avoid the detour altogether, GMA has them covered there, too. We added virtual office visits for our established patients.
From what I’ve heard from patients and other businesses in the area, now is the time for creative planning. CDOT is a great resource. You can easily find weekly updates, maps and detour routes, and information on free public transit on the agency’s web site.
Or start a conversation with just about anybody and you’ll probably get some tips. On Monday morning, it was fun to hear our staff members’ stories about walking, running, biking or riding the bus to work. In fact, one employee did a little counting on her bus ride. She passed 147 cars —105 of them with single drivers. If you’re one of those drivers, I can only give you fair warning now. Your photo may end up on the Roaring Fork Swap or Roaring Fork Road and Conditions Facebook pages under posts with titles like “Somebody call the carpool police!” and “Must love sitting in 2 hours of stalled traffic.”
At the very least, the bridge closure has finally given us all something else to talk about besides politics and the weather. So start a conversation with the next person you meet. And who knows? The very thing that has caused all the hassle may be exactly what brings us all closer together.
Henry Garvin is a resident of Glenwood Springs and the CEO of Glenwood Medical Associates with locations at 1830 Blake Avenue in Glenwood Springs and 2001 Horseshoe Trail in Silt.