Monday letters: Carbondale candidate, failed at politeness, 480 Donegan point, counter
Consider Chris for Carbondale
We are so blessed to have a wonderful group of people to choose from in the upcoming April 5 town trustee election.
How to differentiate between eight well-intentioned and well-qualified candidates? May I offer one practical reason why you should include my name among your choices? Design understanding. Some of the most consequential decisions the town council has to make involve development and its design. I understand how plans translate to reality and how what we build in turn affects our behavior, environment and community. This will be an invaluable asset to the council as we assess proposals and explore how to make the best use of downtown land donations and other opportunities.
I bring creativity and a results-oriented mentality to my work. I always begin by listening carefully and don’t passively listen — I want to really understand the problem and the people involved, ask questions, consider all angles, and put in hard work towards a real solution. If we don’t fully consider the details that make human-centered design work, we end up with “business as usual” development that leaves Carbondale less humane.
Please visit my website http://www.hassigfor
trutee.com for considered thinking on a variety of issues that face the town.
Growing up in a Catholic family and attending a Catholic school I learned from an early age about appropriate behavior. We may not always agree with a parent or teacher but in their presence when they were speaking we listened politely. There were ways in which we could express our disagreement, but there was a time and a place and we should be well-mannered.
As an adult I taught in a small college for 30 years. Then I was in the position where I expected consideration while teaching but was open to honest discussion and disagreements. I tried to listen to students who had differing opinions, but tended to flunk those who wrote papers expressing those opinions as facts.
One of the larger departments on our campus was Education where students were trained to be teachers. That department had a strict code of behavior for their majors. Any student who behaved in class the way Lauren Boebert or Marjorie Taylor Greene did at the State of the Union would be expelled from the program. When I had students who acted similarly, who were disruptive and impolite, I explained to them that one word from me could derail their future career plans. That behavior was not something our school would tolerate, and we did not want our trained teachers to have a reputation of that sort of behavior.
As residents of Colorado we should want what my college wanted, our representative in Congress should be a person of dignity, knowledge and esteem. What sort of example do we set when we send to congress an ill-mannered representative who’s only goal is to attract attention and sarcastically sneer at anything with which she disagrees. That’s not who we are, at least not who I hope we are. We can do better than that.
No on Issue B
480 Donegan will not solve every one of the city’s challenges, but our mission is to have the final version of this new neighborhood address many critical community needs as well as reflect the authentic character and spirit of Glenwood Springs. The Diemoz family, who has owned this property for decades, selected R2 Partners to collaborate on 480 Donegan because of our similar values-led, people-oriented, and sustainable development approach.
The Rosenberg family has been developing community-first projects for decades. I am grateful for the range of perspectives that 480 Donegan continues generating. The key is allowing annexation of the property into the city to move forward so the plan can continue being refined collaboratively. If annexation does not occur, the commercial warehouse park already approved for this site by Garfield County would move ahead without community input.
The truth is, we agree with so much of what we’re hearing, including that West Glenwood needs a sound emergency evacuation plan. That is why the 480 Donegan annexation agreement includes a legal requirement that a new evacuation plan is in place before residents can start moving in. The city is leading the coordinated, multi-agency effort for a new emergency strategy and the successful annexation of 480 Donegan will result in a significant contribution of money and resources to ensuring its completion.
On May 3, please Vote “No” on Issue B so the annexation of 480 Donegan into the city can move forward, and then, please, come participate in the master planning process so we can find additional common ground while creating a future with affordable homes for Glenwood’s essential workers.
Visit 480donegan.com for more facts on the project and to share your perspective.
Barry Rosenberg, R2 Partners
An evacuation plan?
As a 26-year resident of West Glenwood I have concerns related to the density of the Donegan development proposed by R2. Primarily, routine traffic and emergency traffic issues should be understood before annexation or development.
We have two pieces of data to draw from: a March 2021 traffic study and meetings with CDOT. The traffic study provides a very limited sample of traffic (one day during high traffic, morning and evening). While it gives a nod to the development, it raises many critical questions.
The very limited traffic study focuses on impacts from the development and suggests mitigation. One intersection, the roundabout, is studied but no mitigation is proposed. Quoting from the study, “With or without construction of this project, this roundabout is anticipated to operate poorly during the afternoon peak hour with LOS F in 2022. If future volumes are realized, this roundabout should be further studied by CDOT … this intersection is likely built to the ultimate configuration.”
LOS F means long delays and congestion. Anyone who drives in West Glenwood knows this. The study also states that CDOT will likely require an access permit for the R2 development as it will add more than 20% volume.
Over and above “normal” traffic flows, there is the issue of evacuation. We all know that accidents, slides and fires (and combinations of all) shut off traffic on I-70 and Highway 82. These routes were not considered in the traffic study at all, but are a significant concern to residents who live north of I-70. CDOT expresses concern and solutions including gates to empty traffic off of Highway 6, onto the interstate. While this is a move in the right direction, it does not address the downstream pinch points.
We have experienced closures of East and Westbound I-70 and Highway 82. The combination of closures in different evacuation scenarios has never been studied. An effective plan will require multi-agency training, drills, staffing and coordination — not just gates.
We need to have answers to these questions before annexation and before a development plan is accepted. Vote “Yes” on B to reject annexation.
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