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 July 2, 1999

Editorial: Move forward on truck bypass talks

The long debate in Fort Collins about where to locate a truck bypass for Colorado Highway 14 resembles the past debate on the Timberline Road expansion. In the end, Timberline happened, just as, one day, a Northeast Bypass will detour trucks away from the city’s downtown.

Trucks now wanting to avoid driving to Cheyenne and Interstate 80 on their way to Laramie and points west must travel through downtown Fort Collins on Colorado Highway 14.

For quite some time, a bypass was pegged to be located on Vine Drive, an alignment that drew considerable criticism from area residents, who argued that trucks should be forced to travel farther north on their way to U.S. Highway 287 and Laramie.

The Fort Collins City Council voted underwhelmingly last month 3-to-3 on the Vine Drive route, meaning that the measure failed.

What next? It’s clear that any route of such monumental importance to the future of Fort Collins will indeed fail without substantial public acceptance. The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, in a recent position taken on the bypass, pointed out that “Doing nothing is not an alternative.”

So let’s move forward. Opposition to the Vine Drive alignment ensures that any attempt to resuscitate the route will be met with the force of public opinion. Thus, Vine Drive should be taken out of the equation. We encourage citizens groups, business organizations and local government to collaborate on determining an alternative route that will satisfy area residents, the business community and truckers.

Perhaps these groups could consider a two-pronged approach: short-term improvements to Vine Drive to improve traffic flow in northeast Fort Collins, with a commitment to a full bypass farther north.

Fort Collins’ growth and the high volume of truck traffic in the city’s heart demand action. But opposition to the Vine Drive alignments demands that that action take place somewhere else.

The long debate in Fort Collins about where to locate a truck bypass for Colorado Highway 14 resembles the past debate on the Timberline Road expansion. In the end, Timberline happened, just as, one day, a Northeast Bypass will detour trucks away from the city’s downtown.

Trucks now wanting to avoid driving to Cheyenne and Interstate 80 on their way to Laramie and points west must travel through downtown Fort Collins on Colorado Highway 14.

For quite some time, a bypass was pegged to be located on Vine Drive, an alignment that drew considerable criticism from area residents, who argued that trucks…

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