Vail Daily letter: Protect West Meadow Drive
August 28, 2014
It is time for the town of Vail to put the interest of the taxpayers and community ahead of Vail Valley Medical Center's plan to use West Meadow Drive as access for their development. To comply with the mission of ensuring long-term social, economic and environmental sustainability while protecting the health, safety and welfare of the community, Vail must prohibit VVMC from turning West Meadow Drive into its personal construction zone.
As a taxpayer representing the concerns others, I respectfully request that Vail be proactive in managing and planning for the safety and traffic flow on Meadow Drive, particularly during this proposed development.
West Meadow Drive is primarily a pedestrian and bicycle pathway. As Lionshead and Vail developed, Meadow Drive became the primary link, turning those locations into one homogeneous visitor and resident experience. This experience will be ruined by VVMC's use of Meadow Drive as a personal construction zone.
While the hospital moves to greatly expand its operations and fly in more patients, employee, patient, visitor and service traffic will inevitably increase on Meadow Drive. This conflicts with the town's mission and the expectations of those who live here.
There is no police or signal control for the speed and flow of traffic on West Meadow Drive. With VVMC's monolithic plans, that will need to be corrected immediately. The construction access on Meadow Drive raises concerns of serious and potentially fatal accidents. Moms will have to push their strollers among oversized loads and bus drivers will have to transport passengers while avoiding cement trucks. The noise pollution from the construction traffic will add to the chaos and diminish quality of life.
Thus far, the town has been negligent in failing to implement a professional master plan for traffic in this area. These nonfeasance was corroborated by a town spokesman at the recent presentation by the hospital. The town needs to act consistent with the standards it promulgates — the VVMC plan to use Meadow Drive does not ensure social or environmental sustainability, and it does not protect the public health, safety and welfare.
The absence of clear and professional town planning will negatively impact Vail's competitive posture with other leisure destinations. Additionally, there will be a negative impact on property values and the town's tax base.
We ask that the town perform its fiduciary duty to the residents, visitors and taxpayers and properly plan for and manage safe traffic flow on West Meadow Drive and the related traffic arteries by prohibiting construction access for the VVMC development, and forcing VVMC to use an alternate route, such as the South Frontage Road adjacent to the development. Vail has a duty to make certain the development is conducted in a manner that protects the health, safety and welfare of the public. VVMC cannot be given carte blanche access to West Meadow Drive for its own gain and at the expense of the rest of us.
Mary P. Galloway
President, Alphorn Homeowners Association