Vail Daily editorial: Weeds, words and failure
Ryan Summerlin July 22, 2014
How is the Village at Avon like the Colorado Rockies? Both give us lots of words, with few results.
The town of Avon and the Traer Creek Metropolitan District — which operates the Village at Avon property — are supposed to be on friendlier terms these days after years of legal disputes. But evidence of that detente is scant.
For proof, look no farther than Post Boulevard, which links Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 6, as well as providing access to Village at Avon stores — which for years have consisted of Wal-Mart, Home Depot and a handful of businesses in the Traer Creek Plaza building. The five roundabouts are supposed to be landscaped, and, importantly, the streetlights are supposed to be on.
A pair of accidents on a single recent night at the intersection of Post Boulevard and U.S. Highway 6 may have occurred whether or not the streetlights were on at the time. But the lack of streetlights certainly didn’t help matters.
In a story about the recent accidents, Justin Hildreth, of the town’s community development department, stated that most streetlights aren’t working along Post Boulevard.
Beyond the additional safety provided by functioning streetlights, Post Boulevard visually seems like a scene from some sort of zombie apocalypse movie more than one of the main streets of a thriving valley. Except for the intersection of Post and U.S. 6, which is barren, but at least weed-free, the street’s remaining four roundabouts are choked with weeds. Weeds are also starting to again fill the median strip along the thoroughfare. Give it another few weeks, and everything ought to be brown and tangled.
Who’s responsible for this?
In the recent past, the Traer Creek Metropolitan District — which operates the Village at Avon — had sole responsibility for landscaping on the property. But the town of Avon was supposed to take over from the supposedly cash-strapped Traer Creek as part of the legal settlement between the two parties. Town Manager Virginia Egger in April of last year said the town was ready to get to work on cleaning up and planting along the medians and in the roundabouts.
From streetlights to landscaping, the town’s takeover was supposed to happen when the final touches were put on the settlement between the town and the developer. Those final touches, like everything else involving these two parties, has consumed vastly more time than anyone expected.
In the accident story, Hildreth said he expected the lights would be turned over to the town in the next few weeks. We hope that’s the case.
The Village at Avon may end up as a failed development — it’s certainly well down that road now — but it doesn’t seem too much to ask that the road to those remote retail outposts should be well-lit and weed-free, at the very least.