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Make buses free during GAPP

Like it or not, it looks like the Grand Avenue Paving Project is coming to town this July.

That’s going to be the start of 10 months of noise, dust, traffic jams, intersection closures, narrowed sidewalks and, for Grand Avenue merchants, lost business.

The Colorado Department of Transportation says the project is necessary, that Grand Avenue’s pavement is simply worn out and complete replacement is ultimately more cost-effective than patching over and over again.



By summer 2005, Grand Avenue will look spiffy and drive smoothly, but can Glenwood Springs and the people who drive through the city survive in the meantime?

The project’s impacts will be huge, and the Glenwood Springs City Council is rightly focused in acting as a liaison between the community and CDOT to make sure the construction is bearable.



One of the most immediate moves the City Council could make to alleviate traffic congestion would be to make Ride Glenwood buses free for the duration of the project.

Eliminating fares on the city bus service would increase ridership, and that would cut down the number of cars clogging Grand Avenue and taking up downtown parking spaces.

And a free bus would move faster, since drivers and passengers won’t have to fumble for fares and passes.

CDOT plans to give buses priority in pulling back into traffic at lights, and it won’t take long for people to figure out that, at times, they can get around town faster on the bus than in their cars.

Making the bus free isn’t the total solution. It will have to be part of a package of creative measures aimed at bridging the GAPP for Glenwood Springs merchants, commuters, residents and tourists.


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