The new bike lanes on Cascade Avenue aren’t the problem. The problem is Kathleen Krager (via Mayor Suthers) forcing an agenda on residents and a city who, for the most part, don’t want it. The will of the few is being forced on the many via bullying bureaucrats. Just look at the timeline:
- 2007 – Colorado College (CC) wants to narrow the roads but the effort dies in the face of harsh opposition from the residents.
- 2008 – CC again proposes road narrowing and City Council votes against it.
- 2013 – CC holds meetings to discuss road narrowing and residents again are opposed.
- 2016 – CC & Kathleen Krager propose narrowing Cascade, Nevada, Wahsatch, and Weber. 650 citizens sign a petition objecting. Krager back peddles and says she wants to narrow only Cascade. The City Planning Commission votes 6-2 against Krager’s proposal.
- 2017 – Krager narrows Research Parkway and residents are furious. After months of outcry, the City restores Research Parkway’s traffic lanes.
- 2018 – Krager announces she is going to narrow Cascade. When residents point out that the City Planning Commission voted against Krager only a year and a half ago, Krager responds that she only talked to the Commission as a “courtesy” and she doesn’t need permission to unilaterally narrow Cascade anyway.
And that is the issue here. Yes, some people bike and some drive (and some do both). Some people want more bike lanes and some don’t. Some want bike lanes on Cascade and some think other roads are a better fit. None of that is the point. The point is that government officials are supposed to represent the interests of the community. That means they should seek our input, listen to our input, and act accordingly. Krager has tried road narrowing over and over and very clearly gotten her answer: No. Instead of listening to the community, she just kept pushing, and when she couldn’t get the answer she wanted, she just narrowed the roads anyway.
Even if you like bike lanes, you should have a problem with this process. You should care about the consent of the governed. Krager should not expect us to be bullied into accepting this paternalistic nonsense. No means no.