Letter: No more city studies
The Glenwood Springs City Council is now discussing the possibility of releasing a Request for Qualification (RFQ) to study parking and a possible Bus Rapid Transit station.
The estimated cost is somewhere around $600,000 with Glenwood Springs funding about half or $300,000.
There are a few problems with doing these studies. Usually the firm doing the study is from out of town. They send a few representatives to get an idea from the City Council and city staff on what they are looking for and their ideas about the needs of the city.
A few months later the city gets some very nice looking notebooks with all kinds of charts, pictures and data — as well as a huge bill.
Staff and City Council discuss these studies and then often put them on a shelf with the many other studies that have been completed over the years. Most of the time the firm that does the study feeds back to the city what it knows city staff and City Council want to hear to legitimatize their spending money on these projects. In other words we get the information we already know but can then say that it came from “experts.”
Our town is not that large geographically. Our city staff and City Council could survey Glenwood Springs in an afternoon. For example, just how long would it take to drive around downtown to find out what areas it is hard to find a parking spot at certain times of the day.
In fact, we already have a real expert on downtown parking. She has been more familiar with downtown parking than anyone else in the city and certainly would be more accurate than any entity we could hire. She has been walking the downtown area streets and seeing where cars are parked for decades.
Anyone who has lived in Glenwood Springs for any length of time could not help but recognize Janie Daniels, our own parking enforcement officer who did a fantastic job for so many years and retired only a month ago. Congratulations, Janie.
Why not get her views on the subject? I am sure she knows more than the “experts” whom we would hire to do another study. The only items we would not get are the fancy notebooks to file away.
If the city has an extra $300,000 to spend why not use those funds on some of our failing streets that have been in need of repair and by the city’s own admission have failed to meet standards. We do not need to do a study to figure out which ones need to be reconstructed. Just take the drive around town and check out the potholes in Cedar Crest, North Glenwood and the Red Mountain areas, to name a few.
Unfortunately, these streets have not been kept up, and a simple overlay like what is being done on some of our streets now will not fix their problems. They will have to be engineered and reconstructed.
Glenwood Springs does not need another study. Just look and ask around for the answers.
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