EDITORíS DESK: Solving (we hope) the traffic conundrum
2016 could be seen as the year that the Westside finally got somewhere.
Or at least that it was on its way. We've got the new Fillmore/I-25 interchange. Done. We've got the Chestnut emergency bridge replacement. Done. We've even got the Broadway Avenue bump-outs after 10-plus years of waiting.
You see my point. Our side of town is in for many more months of torn-up streets and caution signs.
Not that it isn't worth it. The Cimarron/I-25 interchange alone, when it's completed later this year, is going to make a huge difference in how people travel. I'm especially looking forward to the triple-left turns at the new northbound off-ramp, the cool trail layout that parallels Fountain Creek and the creative shortcut road to be built between Cimarron/Highway 24 and Eighth Street.
The overall improvement in traffic flow could help reduce those aggravating summertime backups on eastbound Cimarron - maybe even reduce the number of motorists shortcutting through Pleasant Valley.
Well, a fella can dream, right?
Then there's the 2C road tax, which started to show benefits in 2016, and seven more Westside locations are slated for paving from it this year.
The Centennial Boulevard reconstruction, due for completion in 2017, will make the drive through Holland Park smoother. And kudos to the city engineers who listened to the public about keeping some of the medians.
The road project that Westsiders are definitely going to feel this year is in No Man's Land. OK, we're not supposed to call it that anymore. Whatever. The point is that with all the work to be done - storm sewers, underground electric lines, sidewalks, a bridge - that area is going to be seriously torn up for a year or more, which will mean a lot of one lane each way. Oh yeah, that's the same as it's designed to be when it's done.
In any case, the overall effect will be more traffic moving over to Highway 24. I really hope that doesn't offset all the upside we just talked about from finishing Cimarron/I-25.