We should be looking forward — David Chicoine

POSTED:   07/13/2014 01:00:00 AM MDT
Denver Post, Denver, CO

Steve Pomerance seems to have been a fairly lonely voice lately championing the connections between local democracy, sustainability, and quality of life issues here in Boulder.

Well, he certainly speaks for me. In my four years here in this remarkable and beloved city I have noticed a real deterioration in the quality of life. Have you also noticed the increasingly congested traffic during rush hours? The boxy apartment/condo building complexes springing up like mushrooms and being squeezed into every last available place? The many new buildings in town that are taller than those neighboring them? That these buildings also edge closer to the sidewalks than the structures adjacent?

Shouldn’t the quality of life of the 100,000 souls already living here — and, very importantly, of the generations to come — be the very first priority when it comes to making decisions about Boulder’s growth? And when does growth tip over from healthy and natural to unhealthy and even destructive? At what point does the increase in Boulder’s population become unwise? Where are the concerns for the aesthetic dimension of the town, with all this new building and the exceptions apparently being granted to both the zoning and building codes?

Boulder is the wonderful city it is today because of the foresightedness, courage, and persistence of earlier generations of town leaders. Didn’t they place preserving and even enhancing the quality of life here as their supreme guiding value? And aren’t these crucial issues facing Boulder today ultimately choices between values?

David Chicoine, Boulder