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Not a calming situation

Dear Editor,

In the Oct. 20 Post Independent, City Council member Chris McGovern was quoted as saying that her e-mail is running about 40-1 in favor of “keeping safety in the forefront” on Midland Avenue. The implication is that the planters placed there make the road safer to travel. I have to question whether this is her personal interpretation, and if this statement accurately reflects the opinions of the drivers who pass by the planters every day.

I understand “what statistics show” about traffic-calming measures, and I understand the origin of concern that has fueled this project. However, each case must be analyzed according to the facts. If Midland Avenue were wider; if it weren’t sandwiched between a hillside and a pedestrian sidewalk; if it weren’t frequently crossed by wildlife; if the planters weren’t square and free-standing without a concrete median, etc., then perhaps the objective would be reached. Seeing as how we have had two accidents in the month or so since they’ve been put in, compared to the number of accidents on that stretch of road prior (certainly less), perhaps the facts in this case have been overlooked. Who is monitoring and reporting back to the taxpayers whether the project is succeeding at slowing and calming traffic? It was definitely slowed down when I tried to get through yesterday with the truck accident blocking the south lane, but it wasn’t very calming.



And yes, as Terry Wilson has pointed out, “You can’t prevent, totally, poor driving; you can’t prevent inattention to driving,” so let’s not further increase the probability of traffic accidents by turning our roads into obstacle courses.

My vote, Ms. McGovern, is also for “keeping safety in the forefront” … let’s get those planters out of the middle of the road.



Denise Gergen

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,

That occasional inattentiveness is part of the human condition would seem to be simple common sense.

If one has any doubts, driving six hours per day for 13 years as a city letter carrier in Glenwood Springs would more than suffice to eliminate those doubts.

Which makes placing concrete planters in Midland Avenue (a highway bypass route) one of the silliest ideas I’ve ever heard of.

Beyond silly, however, is the substantially increased risk of a serious vehicle/pedestrian accident. With a sidewalk only on the east side of Midland Avenue in the area of the planters, half the pedestrians out exercising/walking pets are facing away from traffic. If a driver heading north notices a planter at the last moment and swerves to the right to avoid it, he/she can end up on the sidewalk and potentially run over pedestrians and or pets who, facing away from traffic, won’t have time to react.

Before this happens and the city ends up in a court battle over whether the planters were a reasonable idea or simply negligence, I would strongly recommend the removal of these planters.

As for other so-called “traffic-calming” measures around the city, I would hope that common sense will prevail, and that the safety of pedestrians and pets will not be compromised as a result of startled motorists swerving to avoid unexpected obstacles.

George Thatcher

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,

I continue to be amazed at the politics in Garfield County. Mac Myers writes a nasty name-calling attack on District Attorney Colleen Truden. He starts out by saying Colleen is self-serving and has little regard for the truth, and ends up by alleging she is dishonest, lacks integrity and is incompetent, all the while insisting it’s not a “personal vendetta.” Most startling of all is that the Post Independent featured this highly personal attack. I would really be surprised if the Post Independent has a single conservative on its staff.

Somehow this whole thing smells chauvinistic. I suspect they are offended by having a diminutive female kick them out, especially a Republican. It also demonstrates incredible arrogance. Myers calls Truden everything from a Russian empress to a poor manager and then has the gall to say, “I have no personal ax to grind.” Was he lying then, or is he lying now?

Ross L. Talbott

New Castle

Editor’s note: The Post Independent’s decision to run Mr. Myers letter requires a little bit of explaining. The newspaper did not run the letter when it was first sent. Two other area daily newspapers did publish the letter. When Colleen Truden sent the Post Independent her response to Mr. Myers’ letter that appeared in other publications, I decided to run letter from Mr. Myers and then publish the response from Ms. Truden the next day. As far as the number of conservatives on the Post Independent staff, I’m not sure what that has to do with running letters from both sides of this issue.

Dear Editor,

After reading the comments about the new planter boxes on Midland, I had to go over and check them out for myself. After looking at them, an old memory came back to me like it was yesterday.

After I graduated from high school, I bought a white ’56 Chevy. It was so cool, but it had the stock wheels and hubcaps on it. The next Saturday, I spent the whole day stripping the paint off the wheels and painting them black. Next came the “Baby Moon Hubcaps.” I was so proud of the job I did, I parked my car right out in front so my dad would see it when he got home.

It wasn’t long before I heard his car pull up. I walked out to see him admiring my work. He just shook his head and told me it looks like “stuff” on a white horse. Well, “stuff” wasn’t the word that he used, but you get the picture. I didn’t know what to say, so I just did like any teenager would do. I went to my room and sulked for a couple of hours.

I know that a lot of thought and work went into those planters, but they look like “stuff” on a white horse. Now go to your rooms and sulk for a while.

I think they can be salvaged, though. You know those orange barrels they put in front of exits on the highways? Yes, the ones with the silver stripes that glow in the dark. They use them to help ease the impact when some one hits them head on. (I bet the young lady who hit the planter wished there had been one in front of the one she hit.) Put one on each end of the planter and paint the street blue. They will look like a two-man raft with the oars sticking up in the air. Cool idea, huh? No, on second thought, they will still look like “stuff” on a white horse.

Norm Shroll

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,

My family and I enjoy our rebate check from the state of about $450. We normally spend it on needed appliances or materials to improve the value of our house. The money is put back into the economy through local and state taxes, thus giving tax money revenue to state-run programs.

With the cost of energy this winter, that $450 will be needed to offset the increase in our heating bill. The proponents of Ref. C say it will help Colorado families. How? By me hustling even harder to pay my bills and expenses just to subsidize some strangers’ needs and to fuel the already over-inflated state government?

I know that cuts in our state budget and programs are very much needed. Amendment 23 was supposed to be the cure-all for education, not health care for the poor and the illegal immigrants. What about the working family? And roads?

Stop spending all that tax money on the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and bike paths that no one uses anyway. If Ref. C passes and the monies are allocated like my property tax, it will look something like this: 80 percent education,15 percent health care, 4.5 percent environment, .05 percent road and bridges and 0 percent for homeland security.

Reject Ref. C and unnecessary spending.

John Pizzelli

Silt

Dear Editor,

I urge all voters to vote yes on Referendum C, and to take the time to fill out the mail-in ballot. There are so many programs and support services which would be drastically affected, if not eliminated altogether, if Ref. C does not pass. Coloradans cannot afford to turn a cold shoulder to the elderly, to the disabled, and to programs which support youth at-risk services.

Many of the programs which provide essential services for Coloradans are already scraping the bottom of the barrel to operate. When one at-risk youth receives help at a critical time of life, which succeeds in keeping him/her out of the criminal system, tens of thousands of dollars of state money are saved. When individuals with disabilities are served by Mountain Valley Developmental Services, the savings again to the state are enormous. The amount of money which these programs will receive from Ref. C will be vastly compensated for from the results of these services.

Keep in mind that there are real people out there today receiving services which help keep them out of the expensive jails, there are disabled people able to work in community jobs, there are deserving elderly who receive crucial services such as health care and meals and transportation. Many of these services need Ref. C to pass to continue to operate. A yes vote on Ref. C is needed now. The nonprofit sector is tapped dry already ” don’t turn your back on your fellow Coloradans. Vote yes on C.

Tara Meixsell

New Castle

Dear Editor,

Grand River Hospital Board of Directors would like to change the “term limit” for elected officers.

Term limits are good. New blood is needed to generate new ideas and to break up any questionable problems in government on any level.

Please vote no on 4A on the Nov. 1 ballot. Help make GRHD a better hospital.

Jane Lay

Rifle

Dear Editor,

In reference to Steve Damm’s letters in the Post Independent and the Oct. 6 article “Petal to the Metal,” had not the new planter been on Midland Avenue, the driver just might have driven into oncoming traffic. She just might have killed someone.

The only one who lost from the new safety planter caused her own demise.

Tom Schultze

Carbondale


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