Do the citizens of Durango understand what is going to happen to their downtown?
This year, the City Council and planning department hired a consulting firm to redesign Main Avenue. During a $65,000.00 study, the consultants came up with four options. None included leaving the historic street as it is, or making minor changes. Their minds are set on change.
A survey was sent out to rate the four designs.
Durango has approximately 20,000 residents and 1,023 people returned surveys. Thirty-two percent voted for the favorite plan. This means 1.6 percent of people in Durango have the power to turn Main Avenue into a "boutique" eating and shopping attraction.
When the consultants’ study is complete, the city will have budgeted $400,000 for a traffic and engineering study, according to the city’s multimodal administrator. When that is finished, the project, if approved by Council on May 17, will be built, costing millions.
For years, the city has promised to address building a downtown parking garage that we need. For decades, the city charged developers "in lieu" fees for parking that were supposed to fund a garage.
Now, this "next steps" plan will reduce parking and clog north-south traffic flow, congesting neighborhoods and adding traffic to Camino del Rio.
This redesign will permanently change downtown Durango. No one disputes that. Does our very active Historical Central Business District need this “new age” upgrade?
Pay attention! We are talking about millions of dollars.
See the plan at https://durangogov.org/downtownmain
Jackson Clark II