EDITORíS DESK: Let them eat traffic

       As far as I know, we're the only media entity that has followed up on the Centennial Boulevard comments by City Councilmember Tim Leigh, which were made at the meeting Feb. 13 (see story on Page 1.) It may be that nothing will come of his proposal - Leigh is known for shooting from the hip and no other councilmember spoke in support at the meeting. Still, it seemed worth reporting that an elected official who lives in such a posh area as Broadview Place would have the gall to suggest dumping Centennial extension traffic into a far less affluent neighborhood than his own - doubling or tripling the current Van Buren and Chestnut vehicle numbers, according to city staff estimates - as his NIMBY solution to prevent the road from going anywhere near his cul-de-sac.
       I say "anywhere near" because, even though designs are not finalized for the segment between Van Buren and Fontanero, it is certain that they will not call for a connection to Broadview. They never have, in all the 25-some years the extension has been part of the city's long-range traffic plan. So the only complaint Leigh and his neighbors really have is that they'd have to see the thing, maybe hear it a bit.
       To be fair, Leigh's proposal has a saving grace, which is to take the budgeted money for Centennial's Van Buren-to-Fontanero segment and use it to fix up "No Man's Land" along West Colorado. He spent a minute or two at the meeting painting a sad picture of that part of town, saying that people there "can't get police protection" (this, during a time when others were thanking police for being more active there) and "can't get lights turned on" (several days after all 11 streetlights west of 31st had been reactivated with LED fixtures).
       In any case, I have this idea of my own. Does Broadview Place really need to stay a cul-de-sac? It would make so much sense for the extension to intersect with it. The only other east-west roads in that part of the Westside are Fillmore about a mile to the north and Uintah about a mile to the south. I'll bet the people on Van Buren and Chestnut especially would love using a connection like that.

- K.J.