Our View: Yampa project needs better name
July 23, 2013
Yampa Street project name
“Promenade” already is taken by Steamboat Ski Area, so the Yampa Street project needs a new name.
We mostly approve of the Steamboat Springs City Council's plan to ask voters to fund expanded hiking and biking trails and improvements on Yampa Street.
We have argued in the past that all of the funding from the city's accommodations tax should be spent on the proposal to expand trails in Routt County. We always have felt that this proposal was best aligned with the mission of the tax to provide amenities that would attract visitors and benefit residents.
That said, we've never quibbled with Yampa Street advocates' argument that the improvements to the street along the river will enhance the viability of downtown Steamboat as a visitor destination. And the city's decision to split the annual tax proceeds between the two projects until the Yampa Street project receives $900,000 seems to be a reasonable compromise.
We only have one request: Can we please work on the name of the Yampa Street project?
Advocates have taken to calling it the Yampa River promenade. By definition, that's accurate. A promenade is a public place to take a leisurely stroll. The Yampa project's centerpiece is a 16- to 24-foot-wide, continuously landscaped, well-lit walkway along the river side of Yampa Street that connects a series of public parks.
The problem is that Steamboat already has an award-winning public promenade at the base of Steamboat Ski Area. That promenade was created by the Urban Renewal Area Advisory Committee and funded by tax incremental financing. In our view, the 7-year-old promenade at the ski area used the name first and is now Steamboat's promenade. Adding the Yampa River promenade simply invites confusion.
We think the Yampa Street project should adopt a name that distinguishes it from other parts of the city. The public parks with river access, the shops and restaurants, the river and the Yampa River Core Trail already make it unlike any other stretch of road in Steamboat.
Some U.S. streets conjure up images by the mere mention of their names. Sixth Street in Austin, Bourbon Street in New Orleans and Pearl Street in Boulder are examples. Others define themselves as malls, districts or walkways. Think 16th Street Mall in Denver, Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego or the River Walk in San Antonio.
Yampa Street. The Yampa Street Mall. The Yampa River District. The Yampa River Walk. There are plenty of options for Yampa.
Fix the name. Promenade is taken and other identities simply work better.