Getting the most from development
I am generally in favor of concentrated growth in the Willits/El Jebel area. However, the Basalt Town Council is going overboard, while asking nothing in return from the developers.
Afternoon traffic in El Jebel already backs up all the way to the Willits light. The new development will add a vast amount of traffic: The average Whole Foods does significantly more business than a City Market; there have been wholesale additions to the amount of approved residential construction; and let us not forget all the development on the north side of Highway 82. It doesn’t take a genius or an expensive study to realize that adding a roundabout will do little to mitigate this.
Instead of more study, Basalt Town Council should require the developers to put up a bond of sufficient value to cover the potential traffic mitigation: additional traffic lights, additional lanes and pavement, bike paths and sidewalks, and potentially a “Basalt Shuttle” bus system to get folks to and from this development from other parts of the community.
The developers will benefit as much as the citizens from these improvements. If Town Council does not address the cost of Willits growth, the citizens will be left paying the bill for that growth.
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