More Questions than Answers – and many thanks!

I have received some great feedback from various folks in the community – and amazingly enough, not everyone agrees with me! I welcome that and I hope that we can continue to grow this dialog. Chris McGovern, a former member of the Glenwood City Council and the Transportation Commission has posted a comment that I intended to fully respond to this evening – but life had other plans. I will respond and continue to discuss the Access Control Plan, the subject of Chris’ comment in the next day or two as it brings up issues that concern many people. I also have a couple of people interested in doing a guest blog, and I hope to get those going in the next week or so. So, if you are reading this and have an opinion, please let me know. You can comment or you can email me with your guest blog. Please include a way for me to easily contact you for any questions or clarifications. My email is ktrauger@rof.net. I would love to hear from some more of the Citizens to Save Grand Avenue. I encourage others to continue to bring issues that cause trepidation to this forum. I would be especially interested in hearing from business owners along Grand that will be most impacted by the bridge and/or the access control plan. Sandy Boyd, co-owner of Glenwood Sew had a great letter to the editor in the Glenwood Post Independent today. As a young advertising rep for the, Glenwood Post, I remember hearing this discussion from the business community in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Some wanted a “bypass” and some were adamantly against it.

For those of you who really would like to see a bypass/alternate route, please give me some information. Where would it come from? Would it be from exit 114 (West Glenwood) or exit 116 (the main Glenwood exit)? Would it be down Midland, the Rail Corridor (along the east side of the Roaring Fork River) or in anothe location? Who have you talked to about your vision? CDOT? Council? or is the group Citizens to Save Grand Avenue planning to present a plan? Have you considered how to get this vision into the STIP (Statewide Transportation Improvement Program) for funding? Right now, I have more questions than answers, but I will keep asking and I hope folks will keep talking!

5 comments on “More Questions than Answers – and many thanks!

  1. chris mcgovern says:

    The following comments are from Dick Proscence, an engineer who has worked on the Grand Ave Bridge & is intimately familiar with it…. in response to Kathy Trauger’s comments:

    *NEPA requires a comparison of ALL alternatives where a major federal action is undertaken.
    *CDOT is limiting the alternatives being investigated.
    *The existing bridge has been there for nearly 60 years. Maintenance is often required on old bridges.
    *If there is a scour problem or crumbling concrete, work on those problems.
    *Locking 40,000-50,000 vehicles (vehicle trips) onto Grand Avenue including 4,000-5,000 dump trucks, gasoline tankers or other hazardous loads onto Grand Avenue is the overriding issue.
    *When I was involved in moving the railroad yards across the river, the subject of inadequate clearance never came up, not once.
    *If it such a big deal, why wasn’t it brought up then?
    *The narrow bridge has functioned for over 50 years.
    *Why not delay it’s replacement until these other issues are resolved.
    Dick Prosence (retired engineer)

  2. As a downtown business owner, I have been following these projects and gathering as many facts as I can. Most of the people in the community that I speak with are unaware of what is being planned or what it all means. I have attended open houses, watched council meetings on TV, written city council and spoken with someone working on the Bridge Project. The open houses were a difficult forum to get answers to my questions. I received only one response from my email to council members and it was mostly political rhetoric that 2 other council members agreed to back. My most productive meeting was with the member of the Bridge Project.

    I am in favor of getting the pass- through traffic off of Grand Avenue. I don’t understand why we are approaching the bridge, the access control plan and a bypass as separate projects and pretending that they are not related because of the red tape that separates them. It’s as if the right foot isn’t talking to the left foot about the intended destination. I am perplexed as to how so many studies have been done on a bypass, but the leaders of our community and state can not come together on a plan or a combination of plans to do what is best and right for Historic Downtown Glenwood Springs. I understand that no option is going to be popular with everyone. I also understand that it may not be an easy task, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be tackled.

    When tackling the task, the tourists’ needs should be top priority! Yes, the tourists! They equal more than ten times the population of Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin Counties combined. They are what drive the local economy. Tourists are our industry. What is best for them is best for Glenwood Springs AND the people who live here. If someone doesn’t think the traffic is a problem for tourism, I am guessing they haven’t spent much time in downtown and I would encourage them to do so with their tourist eyes and ears on.

    Please cut through the red tape and do what is right.

    • ktrauger says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Tami. You have a lovely store. I hope to be able to respond to your comments more thoroughly later . . . and add a new post. I just wanted to make a quick response to your comment, “I am perplexed as to how so many studies have been done on a bypass, but the leaders of our community and state can not come together on a plan or a combination of plans to do what is best and right for Historic Downtown Glenwood Springs.. Quite frankly, from what I understand, the lack of a concensus and differing opinions about what is “best and right” is what has stalled and thwarted previous attempts at a bypass/relocation of SH-82. What seems to be a perfectly clear and obvious solution to one group, is a nightmare to another. Until the citizens of Glenwood can come up with a reasonable (i.e. do-able and fundable) solution that is right for all of Glenwood Springs and does not cause half to two-thirds of the other citizens of town to scream foul, then we will continue to face this seemingly endless debate. If you were to recommend a route for a bypass right now, where would you put it? There is no doubt that the downtown is the heart of the community, but the solution must be what is right for Glenwood Springs, as a whole.

      • Thank you for your response. I have been listening and am glad you have created a forum for discussion.

        Do you feel the public totally understands how important tourism is to Glenwood Springs? Or is it just assumed they do? Do you agree that tourism is our industry and the economic driver for other industries such as construction, real estate, interior design, landscaping,architecture, retail, lodging, recreation? If so, I believe the public would understand that what is right for Glenwood Springs as a whole, is doing what is right for tourism. My fear is that the general public is so wrapped up in their daily activities, work and commute that they are forgetting where their jobs come from. I don’t know if they have thought about this. I don’t believe the majority of them spend any time downtown and I don’t feel that most of them know much more about these projects other than the bridge needs to be replaced. I truly believe if we do what is right for the tourist it will be overwhelmingly right for Glenwood Springs as a whole. Yes, there will be some who are displeased or displaced, but if you look at the whole of it the numbers that matter are the million plus visitors who spend their money here.

        I come from a background in corporate interior design. Part of the design process is identifying the end users and their needs. Typically if there are different needs, you address the needs of the majority. In some cases the needs of those creating revenue are given priority. For example, as a designer, I was part of a cost department, so my work space was given little consideration other than the functionality of it. However, the Sales Department – they generated income for the company, so their spaces were given priority. The local population of Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties combined are roughly 1/10 of the number of tourist, so if I were to approach it as a design problem, I would design it for the tourists and accommodate as many needs of the locals as possible. The tourists not only out number the valley locals tenfold (more if you only take Glenwood Springs population then they outnumber the local population 100 times!), but they are also where the revenue comes from.

        Where should a bypass go? That is not my area of expertise. I have not been involved in the process or the previous studies, so I could not possibly have an intelligent opinion on where to put it. I know that there have been many solutions studied and created over the years and that there are people who have the expertise and knowledge to create a solution. Maybe they just need a salesman/marketing representative to help the public understand the importance of tourism and preserving the rich history of Glenwood Springs. I don’t feel that myself or the public have the knowledge or expertise to suggest where a bypass should go……..and I am not sure “Where it should go” is even the question. There have already been multiple solutions created and studied.

        The question is how do you sell the future of Glenwood Springs. If I envision the future of Glenwood Springs as a highway and an industry based in trucking, gas and oil it is much less appealing than one based on the beauty of our outdoors, tourism and rich history. I can get highways, gas and oil in Texas………….oh wait that’s where many of our visitors come from…….probably to get away from it and enjoy the beauty?

        Yes, there still needs to be a highway somewhere in Glenwood Springs, it just doesn’t need to be through the historic core.

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