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Don’t listen to ‘retro-dinosaurs’

Stay firm, City Council! Don’t listen to the off-Main business owners who see sour grapes in improvements to Main Avenue or to the retro-dinosaurs who feel that everything should remain as it was back in . . . whenever they moved here.

While I’d personally prefer a car-free pedestrian mall, I’m delighted with the plans to update and upgrade our downtown into a more welcoming shopping and dining district for locals and visitors. I’m excited to see walking, cycling and transit foregrounded in these plans.

Of course, the other part of the equation is that we need an hourly-rate parking garage so people who don’t live in central Durango can have a place to leave their vehicles when they visit. (Also bike racks, so cyclists can lock their bikes securely and walk to their destinations!) Close-in parking should be reserved for people with disabilities, and temporary parking for deliveries and pickups. Maybe a free trolley shuttle?

I’m certain that once downtown is less welcoming to cars but more welcoming to people, the benefits will accrue to the businesses on the cross streets as well. And we can move our downtown into the future without damaging its historic value; or do you think we should rip out the asphalt since Main Avenue was originally unpaved?

Downtown has changed and evolved since Durango was established, and it will continue to do so. I’m grateful for the chance to offer opinions on its future direction.

Ilana Stern