On June 8, 2016, City Transportation Manager Kathleen Krager announced her proposal to eliminate traffic lanes on Cascade Avenue through Colorado College (CC). On June 16, 2016, Krager presented her proposal to the City Planning Commission. (The Commission ultimately rejected the proposal 6-2.)
Many ONEN residents do not want Cascade narrowed, but Krager is presenting this as an urgent safety issue. The Gazette has quoted her saying “We’re having an increasing number of pedestrian accidents, and it’s just a matter of time.” During the Planning Commission meeting, she said she has seen too many citizens stand before commissions and ask “How many more must die?” Despite all data, Krager implies the safety issue on Cascade is life-or-death.
For nearly a decade, COS residents have been suggesting CC add a pedestrian underpass. An underpass would completely decouple pedestrian and vehicular traffic, thus fully protecting pedestrians from vehicle collisions. If this is truly a life-or-death crisis, we’d expect Krager and CC to jump at the opportunity to solve it.
Yet during the Planning Commission meeting, Krager dimissed the idea of an underpass. She specifically said it was not a financial problem–that if the underpass were a solution, they “would find the money.” Instead, Krager said CC is a jewel of the downtown area, and that an underpass would change the “feel” and “look” of the campus. She said it would change the way the campus functions. But isn’t that the point? If the way the campus functions currently risks student lives, it doesn’t seem like changing that would be such a problem.
Krager and CC can’t have it both ways. Either:
- Pedestrian safety has become such a desperate problem that it justifies Krager rushing to get her proposal approved without commissioning any studies, offering any data, or even allowing proper public feedback, or
- Pedestrian safety is such a minor issue that the “look” and “feel” of the campus are bigger priorities.
So which is it?