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Seeds of discontent

When does an idea officially become a bad idea?When a Jeep Cherokee slams into it at 25 mph on Midland Avenue.The planters on Midland Avenue in Glenwood Springs have quickly become the most infamous chunks of concrete outside of an episode of “The Sopranos.”Speeding on Midland Avenue has long been a problem, and finding a logical solution is an admirable goal. But concrete planters on a narrow stretch of busy asphalt is not a good idea.After residents of the Midland Avenue neighborhood broached the speeding issue with the city of Glenwood Springs, the wheels were set in motion to find a solution.The idea to place planters on Midland, which includes one on a curve, came from a traffic consultant. The hope was that the five planters would help slow traffic. Obviously, it’s too early to pass judgment on that theory.Slowing traffic is good, stopping traffic is not. Cleaning up twisted metal and broken glass isn’t good either, not to mention possible injuries from accidents.From a law enforcement perspective, Police Chief Terry Wilson wants to take it slow.”I have a wait-and-see attitude. I’m willing to give anything that might be an improvement to our traffic situation a chance,” he said.Patience is good sometimes. Some officials want to see what happens when the plants are in full bloom, which will help increase visibility of the planters. If that’s the case, why install planters in the unfriendly growing season of autumn?There are a number of questions that are bound to grow out of this situation. What will happen in the winter? What problems might the planters create for snowplows? Is it safe for employees to maintain the planters? And maybe the biggest question – when does traffic calming actually cause traffic congestion?Other factors to consider are motorists who don’t slow down, and heavy traffic using Midland Avenue for commuting and traveling to the new Glenwood Meadows.City officials said that they will evaluate the planters over a period of time. At a cost of $10,000, the planters were a pricey addition, but the planters are not permanent. The city can move them to other areas where they would be a better fit.Traffic-calming devices have a place. There’s no reason to believe that motorists will slow down on Midland Avenue just because there are concrete obstacles in the median. More accidents will occur and traffic will come to a stop, clogging a busy roadway.The city needs to take a good hard look at this issue and quickly re-examine it.Concrete planters on Midland Avenue is a bad idea. A little patience is fine, but the city should seriously consider scrapping the planters and start planting the seeds to find another idea to slow traffic Midland Avenue.


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