It is time to just say “no” to the elusive, if persistent, notion of a Glenwood Springs bypass.
It is time, instead, to talk about real solutions for reducing traffic and traffic impacts in this otherwise charmed and healthy community.
The ill-conceived and simplistic idea of putting so-called through-traffic onto a second highway corridor just cannot fit in a town that is only seven blocks wide to begin with.
While bypasses (truck routes, commuter routes or other such concepts) have had some positive effects in other towns, those places actually had the space to make such routes work. We don’t.
The latest version of the bypass fad suggests putting a new highway along the eastern bank of the Roaring Fork River. Such a structure would destroy the charm and availability of that remarkable natural corridor, which so defines the attractiveness of our community.
That in addition to bulldozing or rendering uninhabitable a dozen homes and destroying the livability of neighborhoods like Polo Park, the area around Glenwood Elementary School, and homes on the west side of the river.
What’s more, it just won’t work.
Legitimate and long-standing Grand Avenue complaints include too much traffic, vehicles that are too large, too much noise, and too much grit and pollution. Moving some of that traffic four blocks away would leave the same impacts embedded in our neighborhoods – along two routes.
Unless deliberate, affirmative and creative approaches are taken to reduce per-capita traffic, Grand Avenue would end up just as full and annoying as ever, joined by a twin mess along the river.
The currently proposed “Highway 82 Access Plan” includes some questionable ideas that are not friendly to pedestrians or to local drivers. Those portions should be eliminated or modified, and no such plan should further sacrifice Grand Avenue to excess traffic.
However, the alternative to such schemes, and the path to stopping the negative impacts of one highway in our midst, is not the building of a second highway only blocks away.
Let’s drop the ineffective bypass distraction and focus instead on real, regionally wise, community-serving solutions that actually work.
In the March 17 Post Independent Letters to the Editor, Mr. Carl Heck thought if not for the cardinals there might have been a Pope Romney to head the Roman Catholic Church. That would be better than what we got in our last election. Sometimes you are the hammer, sometimes the thumb.
Jack E. Blankenship
Bypass, bypass, bypass. Once CDOT gets their Grand Avenue access plan, they have their bypass, and it’s Grand Avenue.
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