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 October 22, 1999

Editorial: Keep options open on bypass

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: We don’t support proposals for a truck bypass on Vine Drive. We believe that neighborhood opposition is too great for such a project to ever materialize, and we feel that repeated City Council votes against it should have decided the issue.

But neither do we support the proposed Fort Collins ballot initiative prohibiting the city from considering any truck bypass within the city’s northern urban-growth boundary. Our opposition is largely on principal: We don’t believe in tying the hands of elected officials or their staffs.

This ballot measure unnecessarily handcuffs city officials, prohibiting them from investigating any alternatives for a truck bypass within the urban-growth area. Are there alternatives? We don’t know, and we won’t know if this ballot measure is approved. Is there a possible route off Mulberry and through the current Fort Collins Downtown Airport? We would never know.

And what about the future? Certainly, at the pace of transportation progress these days, an expansion of the urban-growth area northward could occur before funds for a truck bypass ever materialize. Then where would we be?

This newspaper has already editorialized that alternatives to Vine Drive should be investigated. The best alternatives very well might be outside the UGA. Looking at the Fort Collins of the future, Owl Canyon Drive might be the best route, despite – or because of – its 13-mile-or-so distance from Colorado Highway 14. Certainly, opposition to that route would be fierce from environmentalists and those favoring a more-compact city.

Whatever happens, civic, business and city leaders should assume that any truck bypass will be built entirely with city funds. The likelihood of state and federal contributions seems uncertain at best.

If the ballot measure passes, then by all means, let’s explore Owl Canyon and other options north. If it fails, let’s look at those options and alternatives to Vine within the UGA.

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: We don’t support proposals for a truck bypass on Vine Drive. We believe that neighborhood opposition is too great for such a project to ever materialize, and we feel that repeated City Council votes against it should have decided the issue.

But neither do we support the proposed Fort Collins ballot initiative prohibiting the city from considering any truck bypass within the city’s northern urban-growth boundary. Our opposition is largely on principal: We don’t believe in tying the hands of elected officials or their staffs.

This ballot measure unnecessarily handcuffs city officials, prohibiting them from investigating…

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