EDITORíS DESK: Music to our ears?

       It's quiet. Too quiet.
       But not far into our Westside futures, there will be plenty of noise. Rumble, scrape! Look at all the graders out on Gold Hill Mesa. (That could be this January.) Boom, whoompf! See the demolition of I-25's old Bijou bridge as the I-25 widening shifts into high gear. (That could be 2006.) Chugga, beep, clang! Here comes a wider Highway 24 (That might start in 2008.) Boom, whoompf again! This time it's the Cimarron Street bridge replacement (2010? It sure as heck better not be 2006, although I'm not taking any odds).
       By this time, it probably seems as if the point of this column is to sell people on soundproofing and eardrum protection. Quite the contrary. I think it's time to start making some noise of our own.
       Too often it seems as if big projects are a done deal, and there's nothing anyone can do to change them, but this is not necessarily true. Ordinary citizens can work wonders, if they get involved early enough in the process and stick with it. For instance, Old North End Neighborhood residents seemed to be suffering from Don Quixote tendencies in their continuing call for the theoretically quieter asphalt rubber on I-25. Now it's starting to look as if the state might eventually allow them the experiment they've called for.
       For Westsiders, coming up Nov. 18 is the first meeting in the Highway 24 upgrade process. Another boring meeting? Perhaps. But missing such gatherings means leaving future whoompfs and clangs to chance. We know the future will bring some kind of noise; wouldn't it be grand to know that, when it comes, it will sound like what we want?

- K.J.