EDITORíS DESK: Complicating things
Complicated stories R us. And we know how much you readers love them. OK, a little sarcasm there, but the fact is that sometimes there's no getting around all the
messy details. A classic case is the Fillmore transportation article that starts on Page 1. Once upon a time, the planned Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority
(RTA) improvement for Fillmore could be speedily summed up as follows: widening to six lanes between I-25 and Centennial Boulevard. Now it's... well, you can see
how long the article is.
The temptation is to gloss over all the mind-numbing minutia, so as to have a snappy, fast-reading story (not to mention less work for the writer), but the danger in that is omitting vital facts that would leave readers uninformed. For example, it can't just be stated that the study favors two alternatives for Fillmore. We need to state what the alternatives are - including such niceties as the steepness of the Fillmore hill (preventing the placement of stoplights to control traffic) or what those changes would do to currently residential Parker Street or the point that Parker's proposed northward extension goes through private property. Further, because the two main alternatives are so different from the original widening plan, we need to explore why that's the case (after all, it's our $6.6 million in RTA money). Beyond that, when traffic engineer Tim Roberts frankly points out that in reality the situation has changed so much since the RTA passed in 2004 that the best fix for the traffic problems is no longer the RTA "A"-list Fillmore work, but the "C"-list Centennial Boulevard extension (for which there is no money), we must report that too... albeit with a kind of wonder at the perverseness of it all, which in turn sparks a new, detail-oriented analysis that will... hey, where did all you readers go?