This last week’s news articles about what has been happening around Grand County has been sadly informative and disconcerting. The valley is changed forever from what it once was. As to whose responsibility it is doesn’t really matter anymore. It is what it is.
Problem-solving ordinances to curtail growth to help reduce impact have been enacted from banning plastic bags, to forced garbage sorting, to denser housing solutions are being tried. Will it all work? Maybe, maybe not. Things are getting a lot more expensive around here.
Affordability is of chief concern for many and I do not see an easy solution happening. Those who were here before and those now, and those who will live here in the future have difficult economic, social, cultural, ideological and political days ahead. Banning everything or some things that bring money into the valley is being considered but it is too late for that, in my opinion.
Why? Because Moab Valley and the close surrounding area have incredible things to offer and we have diverse competitive economic interests and deciding who wins or loses will keep up the stalemate. Congestion is of huge concern right now. Turning left or right, parking facing forward or backward, getting in and out, or timing it all just perfectly so smooth transition from one destination spot to another occurs seamlessly is only a temporary fix.
The Utah Department of Transportation has indicated that a tunnel proposal to re-route traffic is too expensive. That was a dumb idea in my opinion and just wasted time. Hard decisions have to be made and we all know the only realistic possibility left is to create a less expensive, expensive route along the south rim.
As an old joke goes, what do a tornado and a divorce proceeding in Tennessee have in common? Someone’s gonna lose a trailer. People have invested to build homes and other things there, and making a bypass will definitely affect them. Do nothing is the current theme. Learning to accept and live with it is certainly possible but is this the valley’s only option?
Old-timers have mentioned going downriver and building a new bypass up a canyon to reconnect with the main highway as a possible option if we want to reduce our valley traffic situation. This needs honest consideration.
Yes, it will be expensive, but if the local people start pushing for it, and our elected officials get on board and work with the federal and state governments, this could be a real solution.
Moab community needs this option and all it takes is political will and thoughtful planning. If not that, then a less expensive or more expensive route along the rim needs to be built and somebody’s gonna lose a trailer.
– Kelly Mike Green