EDITORíS DESK: The stoplight at the end of the tunnel
When City Transportation Manager Kathleen Krager announced her decision to install a stoplight at 24th Street and Colorado Avenue Sept. 19, I doubt she realized the depth of emotion she had tapped into.
She found out quickly, though, receiving immediate, spontaneous applause from the Old Colorado City property owners/business people who volunteer on the city's advisory committee for the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District.
For years (and years) these folks have appealed for a light at that intersection - citing safety and business benefits - but the city kept turning them down. In 2006, as reported in the story on Page 1, committee members were even told that a city study had determined that a crosswalk wasn't justified, let alone a stoplight. The flashing lights that have been there since 2009 are almost a joke: Anybody trusting that the cars in all four lanes will stop clearly has a death wish.
The relocation of Goodwill Industries is part of the story. Goodwill's pedestrian stoplight in the middle of the 2300 block was a must when dozens of clients were involved in its work skills program and people were crossing there all the time. But all that remains now are the retail store on the north side and the donation/processing center on the south. As a result, that light isn't needed the way it used to be, which made the city more amenable to the 24th Street idea. Another pedestrian light, in the middle of the 2400 block, helps people cross the avenue at the Colbrunn Court T-intersection. That light ought to be retained because tourists use it all the time. (Personally, I'd like to see pedestrian lights midway through each of the long, long Old Colorado City blocks. A driving burden? Not if the city timed them at the speed limit and walkers could only activate them within the same cycle.)
In any case, having seen how often the Westside gets the short straw from the city (most recently, with the no-panhandling ordinance), it's great when a long-desired, long-awaited civic benefit comes our way. Hence the applause.