Work together on Esplanade

A viable plan will come together if stakeholders keep an open mind

Weigh in:
There will be a special City Council meeting at 6 p.m. today (April 14) in City Council chambers, 421 Main St.

City of Chico staff and City Council members will continue discussing proposed changes to The Esplanade this evening (Thursday, April 14) during a special meeting on that topic alone.

That should please the citizens who chastised the city for placing the issue toward the end of the agenda during the last council meeting. That criticism veered into bizarre conspiracy theory that the city was attempting to squelch public input. Our hats are off to staff and the consultant on the project for keeping their cool in the face of that ridiculous charge.

But back to the issue at hand. Several questions and concerns brought forward that evening merit further discussion and we’re looking forward to hearing the answers and possible solutions. This is a complex plan and the changes therein have the potential to affect the lives of nearby residents.

At the same time, it’s important to remember that safety is the No. 1 goal here. Fact is, the boulevard is exceedingly dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists, including high school students, and also for drivers at certain intersections. If all of the stakeholders work together, we are confident the city can come up with a viable plan.

So, going into the meeting, we want to urge city staff to be flexible. A lot of time and effort went into the study of the boulevard, but this isn’t something that should be rushed. We also want to encourage the council and members of the public to keep an open mind. Yes, The Esplanade is a beautiful and iconic part of the city, but it’s most definitely in need of improvements.