University Boulevard gets city’s green light

Colorado Mesa University could soon be located at the corner of University Boulevard and Maverick Way.

Three groups pushing to change the name of North Avenue — the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, the North Avenue Owners Association and the CMU 20000 Steering Committee — now are also looking at a similar name change for 12th Street.

While there was consensus Monday on the seven-member Grand Junction City Council to draft a resolution to change the name of North Avenue to University Boulevard, they weren’t so willing to agree to changing 12th Street to Maverick Way — at least not just yet.

That means that in the next month or two, the council is to vote on a resolution to rename North Avenue, but call for it to change over the course of about a year.

That will give businesses along the roughly 4-mile corridor enough time to make the transition.

Within the next couple of months, the council may consider a similar resolution for 12th Street, but only if the three entities pushing for the name changes can show they’ve spoken to all of the businesses on that street to get their thoughts on the idea.

“People want change. They are tired of sitting on stop,” Councilor Duke Wortmann said at the council’s twice-a-month workshop.

“I really don’t care what the name is,” added Councilor Duncan McArthur. “I don’t think it makes a difference whatsoever. I think it’s ridiculous, but fine. If everybody wants it, fine.”

Diane Schwenke, executive director of the chamber, Alex Chaffetz with the CMU 20000 Steering Committee, and Kevin Bray with the North Avenue association told the council they are prepared to offer whatever technical help businesses need to make the transition.

“On an individual basis, in both corridors, we’re saying to businesses, ‘We will help you along the way through all of this,’” Schwenke said.

The three said a name change by itself doesn’t represent an economic boon, but rather one piece of a greater goal of increasing CMU’s student population to more than 20,000, which would be a major economic boost.

The three said the university generates more than $450 million annually in economic prosperity for the region. If the university can get to 20,000 students, it would boost that figure to about $600 million, they said.

Their plan is to rename North Avenue from First Street to 29 Road to University Boulevard as early as next spring, and then start the process for renaming 12th Street from Horizon Drive to Pitkin Avenue to Maverick Way, in honor of the university’s mascot.

The plan also is to continue city infrastructure improvements along North Avenue over the next decade, similar to the sidewalks, landscaping and business facades on which the city has spent money in recent years.


COMMENTS

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Why stop there? We should change the name of the whole town, and I suggest we change it to “Horizon,” Colorado. “Horizon” is one word, so faster and easier to write than “Grand Junction.” It’s aspirational and inspirational, connotes a good destination, gets us out of the last century and gets us away from the baggage of embarrassing nicknames like “Grand Junktown,”  “Gland Function, Colorado,” and “Meth Junction, Colorado.” Beyond that, no one in town really seems to care about the town’s namesake: the junction where the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers meet. There’s no commemorative plaque, no monument, no interpretive sign, architectural overlook, no parking area or other marker indicating the spot where the rivers meet. Nothing. Here’s my blog making the case for changing the name of the whole town: http://annelandmanblog.com/2015/03/grand-junction-needs-a-modern-moniker/

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