Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day Old Arch Plan Draws Fire

National Park Service retirees oppose preliminary Arch plans.

And so it begins. The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees (CNPSR) is concerned about changes to the Arch site. Their press release also raises questions about possible private management.

However, in reading the NPS preferred alternative, the opposite appears to be the case. Rather than narrowing the alternatives, by their selection, the Park Service appears to be broadening the planning framework, seeking additional public input and engaging a wide open design competition.

Nothing is out or in at this point. Better connectivity and expanded programming seem to be the main goals. How it happens is far from decided. Given the strong feelings people have for the Arch, getting any change approved will take a lot of work.

I'm happy to read that the retired Park Service employees do like the idea of improving access. Here's what the press release says:

"CNPSR officials said they have no concern with minor changes that are consistent with the original look and feel of the National Historic Site. One possible change would be to improve connections with the surrounding community, including the addition of covered crossings over Interstate 55."

They like the lid idea, but I wonder if any of them have heard about the idea of replacing the depressed lanes with a new Memorial Drive?

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