By CHRISTINE WEAVER
Ms. Prestwood is correct. Central Avenue is boring now. And after her letter appears immediately some photos of the street near the Municipal Building being decorated for the holidays! Those charming old fashioned-style lamps on which the garlands are being hung are definitely charming.
The lamps being put onto the shopping district are boring. I don’t see how the county will be able to hang the lovely flower baskets in the summer, and there is no place for the colorful banner each old lamp post sported, either.
But wait, Ms. Prestwood. There’s MORE! The county is determined to carry forth with the “uglification” of Los Alamos. When the new Trinity roundabout goes in, the triangle with the bench, the landscaping and the art at the Trinity/Central Y will be gone. For a roundabout no less. Can’t you just picture the 18-wheelers that make their way up the front hill road using a roundabout? The one at San Ildefonso/Diamond is barely functional and in rush hour traffic the new one will probably be a complete mess. (I was going to say Charlie Foxtrot, but I’m sure that’s not allowed on a public forum.)
While I’m ranting, I’d like to make an observation on the recently constructed sound wall put up west of the airport. It was built at what was, I’m sure, considerable expense for the taxpayers and is more than boring–it’s ugly. People who bought houses in that area knew they were moving into a high traffic area with probable noise. Airplanes are another noise factor of which they were aware. If this select group wants quiet in that area, why don’t we build a road specifically for those dangerous large trucks and heavy equipment. It could be somewhere where there are no houses and fewer curves for them to navigate.
I believe it would help car and small truck traffic on the main road. I, for one, am quite anxious when I see an 18-wheeler coming down the main road when I’m going up. We could then monitor the large trucks coming into town and if they use the Front Hill road, they could be issued tickets. I think we have a very capable police force that could be given that task for a while until truckers get the idea. We could then call this second access road something like the “Truck Route.” Oh, wait…………
All that said, a large number of homeowners aren’t helping to keep Los Alamos pretty and charming. There are so many houses one sees now with weeds, trash, old appliances, old cars, etc., visible to neighbors and people considering moving into town. I realize that water is at a premium now, and I understand that the cost of a lawn is prohibitive for some. However, that isn’t an excuse for never cutting weeds, and for storing junk in the yards and on the streets.
Our streets are too narrow for trailers and trucks with flat tires full of your unwanted branches, water heaters and more to be left sitting in a traffic path. Sidewalks aren’t the place to leave branches and other garbage unless there’s a scheduled county pick-up. They’re for pedestrian use. I walk by one house on 41st Street off Urban without a retaining feature in the yard and the sidewalk in front is impassable because of the mud that washes onto it. It’s dangerous for people to have to walk into the street to get around your junk. We have a great county dump where old items and garbage can be taken. Cars can be towed. Cost of water does NOT affect spending a little to paint a house.
We are proud of knowing that we have a high level of income here, but many communities in Los Alamos look no better than some of the neighborhoods in Detroit today.
Sadly, with the county and the council leading the way, it seems that Los Alamos is getting uglier and uglier. Shame on everyone for having no pride. County management and County Council, do something to make the business district inviting instead of boring. Walk-about traffic would help businesses. Homeowners, fix up your homes, get rid of trash. One person being proactive can influence neighbors to do the same. Bring back our pretty town.