EDITORíS DESK: Three items in the news

       Are you getting interested yet in the Westside Avenue Action Plan? It's an interesting quandary, with unique opportunities and limitations. For example, the three-lane proposal - it has the plusses of fitting in the current right of way and leaving room for amenities on the sides; however, because one lane each way would likely mean a steady stream of traffic the access solution apparently is more stoplights. Then there's the capacity issue. Based on consultant studies, by 2035 a three-lane configuration would be nearly full. That's a good ways off, but if added right of way is not purchased now, when much of that stretch of road remains undeveloped, how much harder and more expensive might it be in 2035, when a lot of those private properties will likely have been upgraded in keeping with public improvements around a narrower road?...
       Speaking of quandaries, the no-solicitation ordinance is full of them. We've talked here before about the oddity of City Attorney Chris Melcher painting all solicitation as "disturbing and disruptive" for fear of losing a lawsuit if panhandlers were actually named. Then at the Nov. 13 council he almost automatically rejected Welling Clark's proposal for a law establishing a distance offset to keep panhandlers away from their beloved curb cuts/driveways. Melcher said he couldn't support such a law because he doesn't know of it ever being done before. Well consider this, Mr. Attor-ney: What if every city attorney thought like you? We'd never have a single new law now, would we? Here's a plan: How about considering it from a traffic-safety standpoint? Or is that too far out of your play-not-to-lose comfort zone?...
       That was a wonderful ceremony for the new VA Clinic on Fillmore Hill. Whoever suggested holding the groundbreaking on Veterans Day should be rewarded with a chance to give a lecture on vision and creativity to the city attorney.

- K.J.