At a time when the city has given no pay raises and has cut 37 jobs, the parks advisory board is advising City Council to build a million-dollar bridge to nowhere just two blocks up from the 32nd Street bridge. And no one is asking: Who will pay to maintain it?
The Alternative B bridge will bring throngs of people into a riverside area where there are no roads for police, fire and ambulance, and snow and trash removal. It will create a riverside crash pad that is out of reach of police and bring the same traffic and parking havoc that neighbors suffer on the east side of the river.
Is this a Lake Nighthorse, where there is funding to build a redundant million-dollar bridge without funds to maintain it? The parks advisory board suggests we eat up a huge portion of trail-building funds to build a bridge in the middle of nowhere, creating a money pit of responsibilities the city of Durango cannot afford.
In doing so, the advisory board is overriding the wisdom of those who have spent three years researching the alternatives and gathering public input. In January, city staff declared the option B bridge not viable. City Council should back the plan that puts the trail on the west side of the tracks between 32nd and 36th streets. Its on the same side of the river as the population that will use it, it follows public parks instead of destroying quiet neighborhoods and open river views, and it is more accessible by city vehicles. Its the most sensible, safe, environmentally sensitive and economically sound way to go.
Billie Wyatt Adams