EDITORíS DESK: Highway 24 and Grandma
We leave nothing on the field here at the Westside Pioneer. Or is it that we leave it all on the field? I've seen sportswriters turn that cliche both ways.
In any case, what I'm referring to here is my relief at finally finishing a rather eye-crossing review of the 20-some design options from the May 10 open house on Westside Highway 24 and the plethora of comments that citizens offered about them.
I'll get to the options in a moment, but as for the comments, it was interesting to see the variety. As our loyal readers know, we have questioned the size of the state's proposals since they first emerged last November. And we've received a lot of nice support for taking that kind of stand. But not everyone agrees. I got a chuckle out of the comment (printed in full on Page 13) that urges the state not to give up on a freeway "because Miss Mally Wally is complaining that her delapidated dog house and three-fourths dead Siberian elm weed tree will be compromised." I don't know about Mally Wally, but what concerns me is the spectre of raised roadways, doubled pavement widths, 16-foot sound walls, medians on side streets, lost homes and businesses and maybe, consequently, a lost Westside.
But moving on to the design options... If you haven't taken the time to study these, you really should. Then imagine 10 years in the future and your grandmother driving in for a visit. She just wants to go west on 24 like she always has, but things have changed. Which exit to take? The one that bypasses the Eighth Street intersection or the one that goes through it? Should she get off at 14th? But then she can't get back on. Think quickly, Grandma. Meanwhile, as she cruises hesitantly forward, no doubt being honked at by Mr. Down-with-Delapidation, traffic is merging and pulling away on all sides. Directional signs are everywhere, pointing to various exits or lane additions/subtractions. What to do? She used to go by landmarks, but now there are only sound walls with mountains painted on them.
That's it. I'm not cutting any more elm trees.