I really must weigh in on the Post’s letters to the editor lately, and specifically Sunday, Feb. 3.
The first letter came from a former resident of Garfield County, who now lives in Oregon. This person relates his opinion that those who voted for our new DA are, in his words, “dopers.” As for what is said about Ms. Caloia, and the quote attributed to her … shame on the Post for printing it.
The second letter, by a downtown business owner, is misinformation in my opinion. I have some experience with this, as I worked in Glenwood Canyon during the completion of I-70.
I had neighbors tell me I should be ashamed of what I was doing, working in (destroying) the canyon. I had friends rail on me that there would be no access to the river. These same people now speak of how great the construction was and how good the river access is.
CDOT is replacing an old bridge on a state highway. The replacement does not prohibit any future bypass.
When I moved to Glenwood in 1981, the big topic was a “bypass.” How many studies have been done in the last 30 years with no decision? The bypass that was created, got renamed an alternate route to please adjacent neighborhoods, as if that would help. Speed bumps and planters were placed to force traffic to Grand. Then Glenwood allowed placement of a bike path, on the rail corridor that provides the only logical real estate for a bypass.
When a bypass has been debated in the past, the downtown business owners always said taking traffic off Grand will kill their business. Now they are saying it’s too much traffic moving too fast (as if that’s not happening now). Which is it?
Residents of Glenwood should ask why they have a bike path where a bypass should be? Will a new bridge increase or decrease the number of vehicles commuting through downtown? Is commuter traffic the traffic you want downtown?
If the people of Glenwood really want a bypass, all they need is political consensus.
Some years ago the council vacated Pitkin Avenue so the county could build their new jail. The reason given for cutting off one of the only north to south streets in downtown Glenwood was that they were going to put Eighth Street through to Midland. This would allow one street to connect directly from the west side of Glenwood to the eastside.
Now the city is talking about cutting this off and making people go south on Colorado to Ninth (right by the busy post office corner) and then turn left on ninth and left again on Grand to go to north Glenwood or the Interstate. Even if someone wanted to go south on Grand they would have to use Ninth because traffic on Grand would make it almost impossible to turn right on a nonsignalized Eighth Street. The city will be left with no through east/west street excluding Seventh, which does not connect to Grand and is being designed as a pedestrian-friendly street. It is interesting that this most important access decision is the one that needs to be done first so that CDOT can build the bridge they want.
The City Council seems to be letting the state take the lead on this. However, the state, in the Feb. 4 article in the Post Independent, says its concern is the traffic flow through Glenwood. They further state “CDOT is counting on the Glenwood Springs City Council to represent the concerns of the city residents into the process.” The state has now told the council that if the traffic flow within the city is messed up by the access plan it is the council’s fault.
So council needs to start addressing the needs of traffic flow within Glenwood and how the bridge and access plans will affect traffic, including pedestrians, from one side of town to the other and not just how we move traffic to Aspen.
John and Sharon Graves
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