EDITOR’S DESK: Just an item on the B list

       In case any skeptical readers are looking for an “agenda” in the 30th Street story this issue, be assured that is not the case. I just have this job description that requires turning over rocks here and there that might have something interesting beneath them. The 30th Street “rock” has turned up with improvement proposals several times over the past four years, and because it's a well-traveled road and any such work would affect a lot of people on our side of town (not to mention elsewhere), I've tried to understand each proposal and the related funding amounts. Those efforts are reflected in the article, including an attempt to present in full context the city staffers' positions, using their own words as much as possible.
       All that being said, I must admit that I remain a bit mystified about the way the estimated costs have risen. In 2008, to pay for work that would have covered about half the Fontanero-to-Centennial distance, the amount was under $600,000. Now, for the full distance, the RTA-proposed amount is $8.25 million. I've heard the arguments, that it's only B list and thus may never even get done; also that a lot of the planning is conceptual at present. OK, but what if there is funding? We're talking $8.25 million in taxpayer dollars here. A staff explanation is that it's a "conservative" number and if it turns out to be too high the money can be used on other projects. I'm sorry, but that has a disturbing implication. Plus, this whole project idea - inviting more cyclists onto 30th Street - has never been publically debated. Final thought: I don't get why elected officials haven't been turning over RTA rocks themselves. The whole push seems to be convincing voters to support it. But how about analyzing what's in it?

- K.J.