LETTERS TO THE EDITOR A page of readers opinions to launch your Friday
Glenwood traffic solution: A toll road
I have been watching the plans evolve to replace the Grand Avenue bridge. I honestly feel that bisecting our town with ever-increasing traffic is a really bad idea. I have come upon a solution to fund the bypass that could work. A toll road. Yes, a 2-mile-long tollway that would connect the I-70 exchange with Glen Avenue via the rail corridor.
The state Legislature passed the Highway Authority Act in 1987. This law allows for the formation of an authority of the local government which can plan, design, finance, construct and operate a toll road. In the case of Glenwood Springs, our city can become the authority. Typically there would be a board appointed by the city to oversee the operations.
As we speak, there are two toll roads in the Denver area using this model. Funding can be found via a private/public agreement. There is a department of CDOT called the High-Performance Transportation Enterprise that aids local authorities in finding the funds. Tolls collected would be used to pay down the debt, which can be financed well into the future. Given the results of a traffic/revenue study, a win-win situation is possible.
The win for Glenwood is the possibility of the city actually making a profit from the tolls. We can potentially earn income from the upvalley traffic. Secondly, depending on the study results, it is possible to exclude locals from paying a toll. The win for people traveling upvalley is that of expedience. They would not have to run the gauntlet of traffic lights through town.
It is my understanding that we would need state and federal cooperation to build the road, but would not require funding from either entity.
So, there you are, a long-term solution for a problem we have wrestled with for years. This solution will require immense amounts of time and energy to complete. It will require the political will of the citizens and our elected representatives. It is in my opinion, the only viable option that will allow an alternate route to be built.
Dr. Rob Anderson
Show movies on ‘dark nights’ at Vaudeville Revue
The Dec. 8 article about the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue was right on.
I have enjoyed the Revue’s programs since I moved here in June. At that time, this city did not have a donut shop, 24-hour restaurant or a movie theater. Therefore, I urge Jon Goss and company to show movies during their “dark nights” when the vaudeville act is not playing.
Again, Jessica Cabe did a fine writing about this best entertainment in Colorado, that may be the best in the country.
No common-sense solutions for pedestrians
Never short of ideas for traffic in Glenwood, it’s fun to hear the alternatives. Seldom is heard a common-sense approach, and if so, it’s mentioned in passing.
The proposals could be split into two categories: fear-based and community-based. No one sees beyond preconceived horizons. Each side is wound tight, so a battle of wills ensues, each party talking past the other. Until people are honest with each other, nothing will be solved.
The underlying constant is pedestrians. If whatever solution ultimately ignores people as shoppers and pedestrians, then a lot of time, money and emotion will be wasted. For example, if the presently proposed bridge dumps traffic at Eighth Street, then the downtown is essentially at traffic’s mercy, despite pedestrian walkway bridges … that are interesting but expensive and maybe not worth the bother to use … unless they connect to opposite second stories of existing buildings and businesses where internal elevators and escalators could move people. In the meantime, any “people” activity on Grand Avenue would be stifled or pre-empted. Think of the Strawberry Days parade for example. No improvement over the present solution.
As in medicine, the first rule is: Do no harm. That would include minimizing inconvenience during and after any traffic implementation.
Sundin misstates Republican positions
After reading Hal Sundin’s “As I See It” column in the Post Independent on Dec. 4, I seriously question Hal’s vision.
Mr. Sundin implies that the Republican Party is controlled by the “extreme right-wing tea party.” If he followed politics, he would know that the second-biggest story in 2014 was mainstream Republican Senate candidates defeating every tea party challenger in the primaries. In Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alaska, Georgia, Oklahoma and Louisiana, tea party candidates challenged establishment Republican candidates, and they all lost.
These results strongly contradict Hal Sundin’s contention.
Hal goes on to say that the GOP plans on cutting or “doing away with altogether”: Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, school lunches, the minimum wage, unemployment insurance, national parks, OSHA, clean air and water, disease control, civil rights enforcement, EPA, etc. Those are not the positions of the Republican Party. Amazingly, Mr. Sundin says the GOP position is: “low-income families should pay for these programs because they are the ones who benefit from them.” I challenge Hal to identify one Republican who has ever stated that position, let alone the entire party.
In case you are wondering what the biggest political story in 2014 was, here it is in the words of The Washington Post: The GOP “victory in crucial midterm elections reflected widespread unease about the nation’s direction and the electorate’s disenchantment with President Obama.”
New bridge will be a big improvement
I think we need to proceed with the new Grand Avenue bridge. The old bridge is no longer adequate or safe. It also looks like something that belongs in Commerce City, not downtown Glenwood Springs.
Yes, construction will be painful for awhile, but the funding is available, and I think it will ultimately be a big improvement for our community, including the downtown district.
I want to thank Joe Elsen, Craig Gaskill and everyone else from CDOT for hosting numerous public meetings and opportunities for everyone concerned to comment on the project.
The flaws of Carbondale’s roundabout
I am so pleased to see somebody else (Patrick Hunter) that thinks this statue is about the worst thing to represent Carbondale, Dead flowers. I love it.
Oh, and on top of it, this roundabout is way too small to start with to have a huge statue in the middle of it. Those cars southbound going around and to enter Carbondale are on top of you before you can blink an eye. Stop for anybody in the crosswalk, no problem, they will be taking their life in their hands to even try it.
What was especially dangerous is that if you’re on the left-hand side going in, then somebody passes you on the right-hand side and not watching that there is a car that they can’t actually see. I just hope the first accident doesn’t either claim somebody’s life or the pedestrian trying to cross there. Just something to ponder on.
Trulock is spot-on about the bridge
Spot-On: adjective. Exactly correct: completely accurate.
Kudos to Stanley A. Trulock. Stanley’s insights and comments (PI letters, Dec. 9) on the proposed CDOT bridge were spot-on. He was spot-on regarding the “unnecessary speed of the traffic coming off the new interchange,” spot-on regarding the “monster bridge,” spot-on regarding “looking like the Front Range” (gag), spot-on regarding “burning through money CDOT doesn’t have” and spot-on “forcing the city of GWS” (and others) to pony up.
Citizens of Glenwood, City Council, Garfield County (and yes, Pitkin and Eagle counties, too): Be spot-on.
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