EDITORíS DESK: Panhandling: Maybe a picture will do
We're about to get a design for Cimmaron/I-25. Can't you feel the excitement growing?
Well, OK, construction money is still uncertain, but here's what we could do. If the design gets finished and there's still no funding to build the thing, we could duct-tape giant renderings of the design onto the pillars under the current interchange. That way, people stuck in traffic could at least enjoy the pictures and daydream about how smoothly traffic might flow someday.
For that matter, we could do the same thing at Fillmore/I-25, where (as you may have noticed in our newspaper three weeks ago), the feds denied the city's latest construction grant application. And that was even after drastically downsizing the plan from $80 million to replace the structure in its entirety to $10 million just to redo the deck.
I don't know what it is about interchanges in central Colorado Springs, but lately we haven't done so well. I see where the mayor himself has complained about Colorado Springs being shortchanged on outside transportation funding in general. He has a point. While the dinosaur Cimarron and Fillmore interchanges - both identified for replacement in the COSMIX environmental assessment eight years ago - continued to crumble, the Denver metro area received funding to build the massive complex of concrete and steel known as T-rex (no pun intended... not!)...
It is good to see productive use being put to some of the money that was so generously donated to help people after the Waldo Canyon Fire. As Westside CARES director Steve Brown pointed out when we talked, most of the attention has been given to the people who lost their homes, yet it's also true that many people suffered in less radical and dramatic ways (such as wage losses)...
What do you think of the Gold Hill Mesa commercial-area renderings this issue? I think they're pretty darned exciting. Still, solar ivy or no solar ivy, some big 21st Street/Highway 24 traffic problems will need solving to make the plan work.