Dreaming of a calmer, quieter downtown | PostIndependent.com

Dreaming of a calmer, quieter downtown

Mike Bennett
Staff Photo |

Located in the heart of downtown Glenwood Springs, we are always trying to provide access to different views. The Grand Avenue bridge controversy is a hot button for many. Wondering out loud, how many people really care?

Coming across the bridge with an 18-wheeler next to you can be a harrowing experience. My guess is that the vast majority of drivers just want to get through our town as quickly as possible. What a shame those people don’t have a bypass.

This week, Drew Munro and I met with John Haines, Hal Sundin and Tony Rossa to discuss their concerns about the bridge. As many of the folks who live or own businesses downtown, they question the quality of the state’s due diligence. From their perspective, if we are going to invest $60 million or more of our tax dollars to replace this bridge, why not look at bypass alternatives that all agree will be necessary in the short-term future? On the other hand, many government officials believe they’ve done their job informing the public and made the correct decision to move on with the project.

Face it, our downtown just isn’t pedestrian friendly. Talking to Floyd Diemoz, we had the opportunity 40 years ago to create a bypass. It is something that has been discussed for years. Unfortunately there have been far too many wasted words.

Working on the east side of Grand Avenue, crossing the street can be a real pain, especially on a cold, wintry day. I haven’t timed the light but I swear my hair grows a quarter inch and a shade grayer as I wait to get my green light. And when I do, I best sprint across before the light changes.

I’ve watched these poor people press the walk button repeatedly to no avail. Those walk buttons are placebos. They make you feel good although the light takes the same time to change. I did notice you get the walk signal only if you push the button, so I guess it does serve a purpose. I wonder if we could have a pedestrian bridge over Grand Avenue?

Have you ever tried to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee in front of Sacred Grounds on a beautiful summer morning? Only a bypass would help keep down the truck noise.

From my perspective we have a wonderful downtown. Visitors, residents and businesses alike deserve a more tranquil traffic environment to better enjoy our amenities.

I’m all for traffic calming and rerouting trucks and other vehicles that are unwittingly ruining the downtown Glenwood Springs experience. I’m sure they mean no harm. From talking to government officials and concerned residents I’m not sure if anything can be done. I hope I’m wrong.

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