Dear Editor:

Concerning the 100 West Development Plan, I was saddened to hear there was insufficient communications from the City of Moab to the Resiliency Hub Board concerning the construction that was to take place on the property.

A brief note, indicating “road work” would begin in the area, was discretely left in the CommuniTea Garden. In truth, heavy equipment was parked on the garden, and the nonprofit was informed a sewer line would be buried through the rain garden basin — exactly where the plants’ established roots grow. Additionally, they were told a paved 10 foot multi-use pathway was to be placed on the eastern portion of the garden, diminishing both the garden space, and the garden’s ability to absorb and use natural storm water. 

The CommuniTea Garden is no weed lot. Countless volunteer hours have gone into creating this public green space. This summer my girls and I saw a native bee the size of a silver dollar pollinating the garden’s clover, its buzzing audible above the nearby traffic. 

The storm water on 100 West currently flows to 400 North where it contributes to flooding from the Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center corner all the way to 500 West — the exact route some elementary children walk to school. Every year, with more impervious surfaces from development, the floods are bigger. Last year, they flooded my car parked on 400 North. This year, a school teacher laid tables from curb to street so that the children could cross the road to school. The 100 West Development Plan contains more impervious surface, with no green spaces, no shade trees for the multi-use path and no natural surface drainage. 

I support a pathway for pedestrians and cyclists, but how about greening up these roads? Do we need both a bike lane and a multi-use path? Could the multi-use path be less than 10 feet (over twice a sidewalk’s width)? Could the road’s lanes be narrowed to encourage drivers to slow down? Could a “bump out” be placed around, instead of in, the garden, similar to the one placed only in front of the new Hoodoo Hotel? 

Any municipal plan, even if it’s already paid for and stamped for approval, is still lacking if it is not designed for the residents’ needs … and the bees’ for that matter. Please also take the time to communicate the plan before the ground is broken. Thank you.

Rachel Nelson