EDITORíS DESK: No let-up in highway interest
Another Westside Highway 24 open house May 10, and another big crowd. That's the third time in a row over the past seven months that nearly 250 souls have
come to a Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) gathering. Notice I'm not calling it a meeting. I'll get to that in a minute. The point I'm trying to make is
that certainly, if I'd dug deep enough, I'd have found some people at the West Center who are gung-ho for the project and can't wait for the state to start breaking
ground. But by and large, from being present nearly every minute of these three confabs (still not calling them meetings), I'd have to say that the main thing drawing all
these people is sheer dislike at what they're seeing.
Again, let it be said for the record, I think the members of the CDOT project team are all solid individuals who are doing their jobs professionally and courteously. But their thought processes never cease to amaze me. One of the build-it-soon crowd must have just talked to Mary Jo Vobejda, the lead consultant for the project, before I did, because she told me about this man's idea, which was this: Instead of expanding the current highway, build a parallel highway just south of it, from 8th to 31st Street. Further, Mary Jo said, the project team is going to look at that idea. Now, before you recoil in petrified horror, note she did add that engineering guidelines direct the team to take off points, as it were, for plans that have a detrimental effect on existing neighborhoods. So the idea probably won't fly. Probably. Our point all along here has been that any idea for the road should start from the standpoint of preservation, and if it fails to meet that standard, it's tossed out.
Finally, about the "meeting" word. I'm not the only one who believes it isn't a meeting if you don't meet. We all need to hear what everyone else is saying. It's frustrating not knowing what other people are asking and the answers they're getting. It also helps to know if our engineers will be analyzing some insane parallel highway.