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Kudos to council for listening

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By Ralph Damiani

The members of the county council should receive high praise for their decision in the bypass road.

While there are clearly two sides to this project, it is also clear that the vast majority of residents are opposed to the plan.

The council listened and ended the project and they should be praised for that courageous act.

Residents packed the council chambers Monday night ready to give their view, pro and con. After a short while it was clear that the vast majority of residents there were opposed.

It helped that those opposed were well organized and made a compelling case. The presentation by project opponent Greg Kendall was on target.

Regardless, it would have been easy for the council to yield to pressures to continue the project, to say they had invested money in the plan so it must go on. But they did not, they took the hard road and stopped it.

And that fact should be acknowledged.

The biggest argument against the plan was that in the end, it would accomplish nothing. If national security was in such a state that access to the lab was shutoff, there is not way that traffic would be allowed on the bypass road.

Add to that the fact that a proper environmental study had not been done, the decision on what to do was easy.

But easy in the abstract is not the same in reality. One can talk all day on what should be done, but you are then the one who has to do it, it becomes a very different story.

Yes, access to the ski hill is critical. Yes, access to the Valles Caldera is critical.

All that is true. But there were honest concerns if this project would really answer those concerns. And if there were questions, spending $15.56 million on a half-mile stretch of road seems very problematic.

The council of late has been criticized for listening to staff too much. While we think in general that is an unfair comment, clearly this time there can be no argument ee" the community spoke and they listened.