Vail Valley Voices: Vail roads need more landscaping
Ryan Summerlin March 16, 2013
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the Vail Homeowners Association monthly report. We publish weekly excerpts from the association, which keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the town. The newsletter electronic version with links to supporting documents is available at www.vail
There needs to be a better balance maintained between asphalt and roadway landscaping in Vail.
In some portions of the frontage road system, the sterility of asphalt dominates.
By contrast, the trees planted in other neighborhoods along the frontage roads in decades past have matured. They now screen these neighborhoods from the harshness of asphalt and parking lots, creating in these areas a townscape image that harmonizes with the beauty of its natural surroundings.
Much more needs to be done to cause landscaping to be included in town frontage roads and other roadway projects.
The town needs to be concerned about planning for the next 50 years: During the past decade, the community has seen new buildings constructed throughout the town center. These buildings are built to last for 50 years or more.
The town’s roadway system needs the same level of qualitative commitment so every neighborhood is given the opportunity to flourish. The planning that went into beautifying and improving the functionality of the public streets throughout Vail Village and Lionshead also needs to be applied to Interstate 70 and the frontage road system so that the entire community’s quality of life can also thrive and prosper for the next 50 years.
The communitywide resolution of the long-term planning needs for improving the safe and efficient traffic circulation of the entire frontage road system is a critical precursor to opening the way to either bury and sound-wall Interstate 70 or relocate it to a bypass tunnel under Vail Mountain.
The shrinking inventory of vacant public land adjacent to the frontage roads needs to be protected from over development. These town-owned sites are needed to enhance the long-term functionality and beautification of the critical frontage road transportation corridor, which if functioning badly will inhibit economic development.
The community can continue to grow as long as it has the financial wherewithal and implements a visionary master plan that retains sufficient land to aesthetically and safely provide for unhindered traffic circulation of all modes of transportation along the frontage roads.