Have you ever day-dreamed about the complete dismantling of the entire Interstate Highway System? Ever wistfully contemplated pulverizing all roadways into millions and millions of car-free miles for walking, cycling, pogo-sticking, etc. through a far quieter, cleaner, and safer United States?
Well, it’s not just a dream anymore, at least (possibly) for .000000000000000000000001% (approximately) of our national roadway system. There’s a public meeting being held next Wednesday, the 12th, to discuss plans to, wait for it: Remove the I-25 northbound off-ramp at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
No, the presentation portion of the public meeting will probably not “lede” with a Cohen-esque “First we take this off-ramp!” cry of roadway revolution, but we are talking about an extremely rare case of proposing (possibly) that less pavement blanket our world. It’s an idea that should make for an interesting public meeting at Longfellow ES next Wednesday.
We use “possibly” above, as aspects of the proposal beyond the “removal” include changes that might actually lead to more pavement. It’s unclear to your humble blogposter at this point, which is reason enough to attend the meeting next Wednesday. My guess is that there will be other compelling reasons, including some potentially quite verklempt folks mad about possibly losing “their” off-ramp. According to traffic counts found at MRCOG, the average weekday count in 2016 was 6,342 on this off-ramp. That’s far higher than the Lomas off-ramp slightly north (about 2,500) and the off-ramp at Coal (roughly 3,600).
There’s also the potential impact on that “Cadillac of Bike Lanes,” MLK Boulevard. Will this project help diminish the current dangers present for cyclists and walkers (not to mention pogo-stickers) at the fly in the Cadillac ointment that is the intersection of MLK and Oak? Might it be possible to incorporate signal changes at MLK/Oak into this project, changes that would address the highly dangerous “free left” signalization currently in place from eastbound MLK to northbound Oak?
I don’t know. Let’s go to the meeting and find out.