Thursday, October 11, 2007

Building Bridges

It's heartening to see someone reconsider a good idea initially perceived as out of reach, and take steps to make it happen. An example of this is the article in today's Sentinel about St. Mary's getting city help to build a pedestrian bridge over Seventh Street at Wellington Avenue.

I wrote about this back in March. St. Mary's employees were apparently so vocal about this when their building project came about that their CEO put a long explanation into his monthly communique' this past January about how a bridge just couldn't be built because of the expense.

It's likely that pressure has continued from employees and perhaps some customers who would benefit from a walkway between the surgery center, oncology clinic, and the main hospital, and as a result St. Mary's reached out to the city for help. Perhaps Bob Ladenburger is learning something from Tim Foster in this area.

It's absolutely correct that the same issue exists with Mesa State, with one of the differences being a cohesive, focused voice from those who would stand to benefit from a pedestrian bridge over 12th Street. Perhaps the Criterion can make this an area of focus, especially with their new web presence. Those with concerns in this area could then be organized into a presence that can't be ignored, and then perhaps Mr. Foster will take a page from Mr. Ladenburger's game plan and start the process of making this happen.

A pedestrian bridge over 12th Street for the benefit of Mesa State students, staff, and neighbors is long overdue. Barring any substantive movement in this direction from the College itself, the city should make it a prerequisite for any future in-kind contributions to the College's expansion efforts. It would be nicer if the College would earmark some of the $5 Million it just received from the City over the next 10 years toward some kind of progress in this area, and soon.

Bridges can be a good thing, not only in the context of achieving a greater measure of safety and helping to ameliorate the effects of significant growth, but to achieve understanding and cooperation between institutions with strong leadership and varying missions and visions for the future. Here's a start. Well done.

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