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Jennifer Johnson: West Pearl: Reopening street will help with access

As someone who uses a walker, the outdoor dining and closure of parking (especially handicapped parking) on West Pearl have deterred me from going to my favorite haunts — the Trident, Shoe Fly, Helping Hands medical, Canova, Boulder Bookstore and others. I’m so looking forward to being able to park nearby and get back independently.

I recently got a friend to drop me off, go park, then join me there — what a hassle, and repeated on the return home — and I noticed how much restaurants’ outdoor dining areas obscured shop storefronts. When you look across the street you no longer see a row of charming signs and window displays; instead an ugly thicket of seating on both sides blocks the view and easy access. It doesn’t seem fair for restaurants to benefit at the expense of non-food businesses — nor to further limit parking for all the disabled and older folks who need close parking to shop. I hope the council nixes the idea of permanent outdoor dining areas, or I fear that Pearl St. will become a supersized dining court.

The council has been trying to force folks to bus or bike downtown for decades. In the face of failure, they just double down. Bus ridership is abysmal. We humans are hard-wired to save time, money and calories; Jeff Bezos wouldn’t be a billionaire otherwise. Boulder’s population is aging, and no matter how avidly folks pursue “healthy” lifestyles and supplements many will be shocked to find they still face physical limitations. Let’s get real and find more effective ways to protect the environment that don’t bar elders and disabled folks from our civic and social spaces.

Jennifer Johnson, Boulder

Suzy Ageton: CU South: We must prioritize public safety

Less than a year ago, Boulder voters defeated a measure to delay the council-approved annexation of the CU South property. Those voters understood the critical public safety need to provide flood protection for thousands of Boulder residents. They also appreciated that the annexation agreement would bring much-needed housing, add open space to our community, preserve critical wetlands habitat and maintain public access to much of this property.

Since the 2021 vote, much progress has been made toward achieving the goals of the annexation agreement. Yet those opposed will argue that the agreement is flawed and needs to be rejected and a new effort begun. This argument may be made of any major public policy decision. There can almost always be other approaches. However, in this case, there is a high price for any delay. That price is the significant potential for loss of life should another flood occur without any major efforts to mitigate its effects.

Please vote no to uphold the annexation agreement. With your no vote, you will be prioritizing public safety, and also achieving so much more!

Suzy Ageton, Boulder

Marsha Caplan: Library District: Support the critical sustainability of our beloved library

It is time to give our library sustainable funding through the formation of a Library District.

If you or someone you know has ever done freelance work, you know how difficult it is to budget from year to year when you can’t tell how much you will earn. Currently, the city relies on a very small dedicated property tax millage and council-allocated sales tax revenue to fund the library. Not only does this formula not support sustainability, but it varies every year and with every new council.

You can support our work by doing four things:

1. Learn more about this necessary referendum at

2. Endorse the campaign, so that others know where you stand.

3. Request a yard sign, so that your neighbors can see your support.

4. Contribute to the campaign, so that we can educate our community (contributions limited to $1000 per person).

And, of course, when you get your ballot in a few weeks, please join us in voting yes on the referendum that would support the critical sustainability of our beloved library.

Marsha Caplan, Boulder