EDITOR’S DESK: Parade comes at right time

       OK, now I'm officially tired of writing about Highway 24. Twenty-two hundred words will do that, I suppose (see “First do no harm,” Page 1). But I had been even more tired of sifting through the state's slash-and-burn widening proposals, as well as occasional essays by citizens who seem to have bought into the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) narcotic that it's OK to scoop up private properties - even in your own part of town - as long as it's in the name of highway speed.
       The harmful side of such tunnel vision is exemplified by the Barnett Bicycle Institute quandary. If you're John Barnett, do you go ahead and invest more than $1 million in a new building even if it's likely to be torn down at some point in the foreseeable future? And if you don't invest, who will? Will the uncertainty of condemnation a decade or more into the future along the highway corridor have a chilling effect on all exciting developments there? And if so, what does that mean to the Westside economy?
       It was actually refreshing to find that, yes, the highway can be significantly improved without removing homes and businesses. Will the state listen? I hope so, but it's also a proven fact of this "Envision 24 West" effort that CDOT only shows us as much information as it feels is necessary at a given point in time. For all any of us know, there may be some as-yet-unrevealed study that will mandate once and for all that nothing but a freeway will cure our driving ills between I-25 and Manitou Springs.
       Until then... Let's go to the St. Patrick's Day Parade! For the 23rd straight year, John and Carol O'Donnell have created this treat for us in Old Colorado City. A small-town atmosphere, at its best. Let's savor it while we can.

- K.J.