Let me tell you about OUR town – Glenwood Springs Colorado.

Postcard sent to my Great-Uncle from Glenwood Springs in 1907

Postcard sent to my Great-Uncle from Glenwood Springs in 1907

Let me tell you about OUR town – Glenwood Springs Colorado.

We are a small town set in the heart of the Rocky Mountains at the convergence of two magnificent rivers; the Colorado and the Roaring Fork Rivers. We have a rich history that includes Indians (is that the pc correct term? I don’t wish to offend), explorers, frontiersmen, gamblers, railroads, presidents, lawmen, outlaws and well . . . more on that at a later time. Those who know us now generally know us for our hot springs and pool, our caves, our skiing, our rafting, our biking and hiking, our hunting, and our central location to even more fun stuff. The 2010 census put our population at 9,614. Rand McNally and USA Today named our town as the “Most Fun Town in America” in 2011.

What Makes Us Even MORE Special?

But what makes Glenwood Springs well . . . . “Glenwood Springs” is OUR people and our passion!

Every community has some of both, right?

True! However, in the coming weeks and months, I hope you will agree there are excellent reasons we have to be passionate and protective of our town – while continuing to see it improve and progress.

We are a bit of an eclectic mix of native Coloradoans and those who have “chosen” Glenwood Springs as their home. Just read the opinion page and letters to the editor of our local newspaper, the Glenwood Post Independent – although I often question the “independent” part – and you will see that we are a vocal crowd.

So . . . why start a blog about Glenwood Springs?

First – I love the written word and quite frankly, I don’t think or talk very quickly on my feet . . . Although I have Irish roots, the eloquence and quantity of blarney somehow eludes me.

Second – and more importantly – I am an enthusiastic advocate of Glenwood Springs and making it the very best place it can be for all of us to work and to live – as well as to visit. But I am also realistic. I know that there are issues, concerns and challenges that Glenwood Springs must face and we are in a particularly challenging time right now. I “serve” the community by acting on some city boards and commissions – not to the extent that some in our community are involved, but to the extent I feel I can be of service and work for solutions.

Over and over, in meeting after meeting, I hear people say they don’t feel they have a voice. My hope for this blog is to be a springboard for discussion and involvement from those in the community who find it difficult to “get involved” in the traditional sense. I also hope that those who are part of the city, county and region and state as elected officials or appointed members will weigh in on this blog and share their outlook. I hope to throw out some items for thought, perhaps give my viewpoint, and I welcome you to challenge those thoughts, give me your own ideas and provide feedback. I would also love to include some “guest bloggers” on this site. Interested? Let me know! After all, this is truly OUR TOWN and we need to work together to keep it the great place it is.

3 comments on “Let me tell you about OUR town – Glenwood Springs Colorado.

  1. ktrauger says:

    Please note that the original comment by Doug Harr has been removed at his request.

    This is my response:

    Thank you very much for your comments Doug. My post today deals with the bridge issue but I will try to respond to your comments.

    First of all, I know you are well known in the community and your work over the years on many projects in the community is very much appreciated.

    A comprehensive plan is a framework that helps a community identify a vision and goals. I am preaching to the choir – I know. The 2011 Comprehensive Plan is not all things to all people. Like you, there were items that made it into the final draft that I do not agree with.

    I am interested to know, specifically, what verbiage in the 2011 Comprehensive Plan “clearly states that CDOT’s access plan should not be put into effect.”

    Before I go on, I should tell you that I am still studying and listening and researching as much as I possibly can about the Access Plan. Everyone who has said this is a complex issue is absolutely correct. It is indeed a very complex issue. So far, there are some things I am ok with and some things I need further clarification about. I also have some definite opinions, either positive or negative on some items. However, I don’t think that the Comprehensive Plan of 2011 would recommend that none of the Access Control Plan be adopted. Here is why:

    “Maximize effective traffic movement on Grand Avenue to the extent that it is consistent with maintaining pedestrian-friendliness.” (pg. 57)
    Like it or not – the Access Control Plan does maximize effective traffic movement on Grand Avenue. The key – and what the City must protect – is maintaining pedestrian friendliness. In talking with Terri Partch, the City Traffic Engineer, it appears that the City may have some degree of “control” in conditioning the Access Control Plan. In a work session on the Access Control Plan the Planning Commission held tonight, which by the way is open to the public, this was a huge discussion item and a significant concern.

    Included in the Policies to Enhance Transportation and Mobility section (pg 58) it states;

    “The City should seek to accommodate vehicular through-traffic on SH 82 in the Downtown, but place a higher priority on the safety, commercial success and pedestrian friendliness of the Downtown.”
    This is a huge order to fill to everyone’s satisfaction! However, it has been my observation from attending open house meetings, Council meetings, and Planning Commission meetings and in talking with lots of folks, that this is STILL the goal. It may not be CDOT’s goal, but I don’t think there is a single person on City Staff, City Council, the Planning Commission, the DDA or the Transportation Commission who would not want to see the Downtown a vibrant, viable, dynamic, economically successful area. And yes, pedestrian safety is a huge factor in that.

    “The City should seek to provide convenient access to key community facilities for all residents through land use planning, traffic management and design and non-vehicular modes of transportation.”
    Thus far, I am not seeing that the Access Control Plan is blocking this policy. Key community facilities, to me, includes our tourism facilities, downtown areas including the train station, City Hall, the Court House, library, post office, schools, churches, health care facilities, and transportation facilities like the new RFTA, Veloci-RFTA terminal at 27th and Glen.

    “The City should not make land use decisions that preclude the ability to have an additional route for through-traffic along the east bank of the Roaring Fork River.”
    This policy pertains predominantly to land use decisions. At this point, I am not seeing a conflict.

    “The City should make every effort to avoid the Confluence Area as part of any future relocation of SH 82.”
    Again, I am not seeing the impact of the Access Control Plan. However, there is some visioning and planning that will be getting underway for the Confluence Area shortly. This is one area I personally did not agree with the comp plan as written. I think the Confluence area has wonderful potential and there may be ways to avoid this area with an alternate route, but I have yet to see one that works well and is financially feasible.

    “The City encourages increasing transportation options, including constructing trails, roads, sidewalks and providing additional transit routes to get around town, but in ways that preserve neighborhood character and community sustainability.”
    One of the items discussed at the Planning Commission workshop tonight was requesting additional walkways, in the form of tunnels or above grade crossings for pedestrians. No, CDOT may not agree to every request, but if we have a vision, let’s ask.

    So I have provided you with a few examples of why I don’t see a conflict. I will continue to comment on the Comp Plan as it relates to the bridge, the Access Control Plan and an alternate route. I would love to hear yours – and those of others.

    One last thing, Doug. You said, “. . . you are way out of line suggesting that it is C2SGA that are the ones not trying.” Please reread my letter. What I said was, “CDOT, Stolfus, City Council, City Staff, and “Citizens to Save Grand Avenue” are not and should not be enemies. The City of Glenwood Springs has some serious issues facing us, but – rather than working against each other – we should be working together. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” In no way was I implying that Citizens to Save Grand Avenue are not trying. I am inspired by their passion. I agree that Glenwood needs to look at some alternative ways through town. I am simply saying that if we are to solve these problems the accusations, the rumors, the innuendos must stop – where ever they originate. We have facts and we need to deal with the facts. One of the facts that we must deal with in the present is that Grand Avenue and SH 82 are one and the same. Given that, we need to work together to make it the best it can possibly be.

    I would love to hear from other members of C2SGA. Among those members, is there a consensus about where a bypass (I hate that term) should go? Is there a plan to get it on the State of Colorado STIP? Let me know.

    Thanks again for taking the time to comment. I hope to hear from you again and I am always open to grabbing a cup of coffee with anyone to talk face to face.

  2. Doug Harr says:

    Please remove my comment. I did not realize that it would be posted, but rather thought it was an email directly to you.

  3. Doug Harr says:

    I would still like to see the options that City Council has with CDOT on the Access Control Plan

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