Letter: Traffic solution is underground
The real problem is not getting through Glenwood, it’s keeping Glenwood’s charm. Traffic going through town interrupts this charm. Traffic and charm do not mix. These are mutually exclusive. That’s why a simple bridge replacement in itself will not work. What will? Why not facilitate traffic and keep Glenwood’s charm? It is possible and would be a real long-term … “in the foreseeable future” solution.
A good plan not only solves issues, but subsumes and exceeds them, making an even better solution to the original problem. So how can this be done in Glenwood? First: it has all the physical elements of a success. It lacks the financial and analytical groundwork.
No doubt the design of Exit 116 was intended for a route up along the then-existing rail corridor. It still exists and is now no longer in service. That’s a positive. The other positive is that it’s all overburden, not foundation rock. Excavation and backfill is no more complicated than running an ordinary pipeline, just scaled up.
If upvalley traffic were routed underground, either totally underground or with the west side exposed to the Roaring Fork River, the question is, where would it end? Here again, minimize the interface between traffic and charm. The road could emerge/submerge somewhere between 23rd Street and 27th Street on Glen Avenue. That way approaching business traffic either direction would have no trouble taking the preferred quick route and those who were looking for the charm of Glenwood could easily find it. The point is, there would be options.
That’s what a good plan is. It minimizes the impact during construction, facilitates after, and endures as a long-term solution. A traffic loop could be made by locals: Go toward Aspen on Grand as far as 27th and turn left there and again at Glen. Continuing down Glen, the option would be to either stay in the middle lane and take the “tunnel” to Exit 116 or take the right lane and go down Grand. It could be looped in either direction by anyone and benefit all.
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