Letter: Bridge will be demise of downtown Glenwood
The proposed Grand Avenue Bridge in Glenwood should be a case study in what not to do.
The proposed bridge, really a Robert Moses style flyover, will almost certainly completely decimate any semblance of urban vitality in the GWS core.
If the average driver exiting I-70 is patient enough to navigate the sprawling pretzel of ramps and roundabouts they find themselves zooming several stories above the former Sixth Street retail corridor and Colorado River at 50 miles per hour only to be deposited to what’s sure to be a glut of rumbling, carbon belching motors at the upvalley end of Glenwood. I shudder to think about the poor, unlucky few pedestrians waiting in vain to cross the new Glenwood freeway. Those willing to wait long enough to cross may find themselves deep in the dusty, groaning no-man’s land between the elevated roadway and,what will likely become mostly empty, faceless storefronts due to lack of visibility and unwalkable sidewalks.
As an urban designer, it’s hard not to draw parallels between the 1960s era freeway overpasses that famously bisected and ultimately segregated so many American cities in favor of the automobile. Most planners and designers today would agree that walkability is key to the success of cities large and small. This overpass, if realized, will almost certainly be the demise of downtown Glenwood.
All this and only a $100 million price tag. A real shame when a better solution would cost merely a fraction while enhancing the pedestrian-retail environment and making downtown safer and more attractive. I’m sure there are more than a few local design firms, including my own, more than willing to share ideas if we could just find leaders willing to listen.
I encourage business owners, citizens, and city leaders to please take another look at the proposed overpass and ask CDOT to reconsider alternatives before it’s too late.
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