EDITORíS DESK: On 2-laning Old Colorado City
No need to get excited just yet, but a plan is jelling that would change the way we drive through Old Colorado City. Jim Heikes, the president of the Old Colorado
City Associates merchants group, outlined the concept at the May meeting of the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District. The idea (as summarized in a
story this issue starting on Page 6) is to narrow the avenue from four to two lanes between 24th and 27th streets and use the extra room to make angled parking
spaces. Presto! With one configuration change - which would seem to require little more than striping - Old Town would become a safer, more inviting place to shop,
and with more on-street parking spaces, to boot.
What's kind of funny (at least to us here at the Pioneer) is that we had offered a similar concept in a front-page article in our Oct. 26 issue and nobody at the time thought much of it. True, ours did not have the appeal of additional on-street parking. But only one of the numerous merchants we interviewed for the story mentioned parking as a reason to be for or against narrowing traffic through Old Colorado City. Oh, well, minds can change. And slow business days can spur shopkeepers to ponder alternatives. Maybe we can take credit for at least tossing the idea out there, because, like a beachball at a ballgame, it's still bouncing around and going in unexpected directions.
But to get back to the concept itself. Safer, I think, is a key aspect. One of the people we talked to in October expressed concern about the conflict between speeding cars and the slow-moving 3G's horse-and-buggy service. Sure enough, less than two months later, there was just such an accident.
It's still early, but at some point we'll need to confront the question of which is more important - Colorado Avenue as a thoroughfare for motorists impatient to go elsewhere or as a route that focuses on the most historic shopping area in the region. Old Colorado City's future may depend on the answer.