EDITORíS DESK: Telescope fuzzy on far-off future

       It takes a long telescope anymore to peer far enough into the future to picture a widened Highway 24. A representative of the Safeway store experienced this phenomenon last week at a meeting of local elected officials and staffers that the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) had called to help figure how to squeeze six lanes through the gap west of 31st Street. During the discussion, an option that gained some favor was for a broader, more natural swath for Fountain Creek. The resulting building constraints would in turn trigger "redevelopment" (government translation: the replacement of low-margin businesses with new ones that bring in more sales tax revenue) of the commercial area just north of it. Safeway, the favored child of the meeting, did not have to worry about being replaced, but its representative, Jeff Fergot, expressed some regret about possibly having to relocate the store within the Red Rock shopping center only 15 years after Safeway spent considerable money to put it where it is now. A CDOT staffer then reminded him that it would be at least another 15 years before the highway project happens, which seemed to assuage his concerns (because 30 years tends to be a long time for a supermarket building).
       But really, can anyone imagine what that area will be like then? Will there still be a Red Rock center? What kinds of vehicles will people be driving? Will Safeway still be in business? One thing I'm kind of curious about is this overhang design that's part of CDOT's first option.
       In the meantime... Enjoy Territory Days! And here's hoping that, whatever things are going strong 15 years from now, this festival, with its wink at Westside history, remains one of them.

- K.J.