LETTERS

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LET'S OBEY THE SIGNSThis is about Steve Elkin's feeling that there should be more "regulation and enforcement" on Spring Creek, not in support of riding fast down the trail.

I'm very sympathetic with Steve's situation, having ridden up and down Spring Creek trail numerous times. There are races every other Wednesday for those who like to go fast on local trails, but never there.

Steamboat Springs is a city of signs. There are signs about riding on sidewalks, stop signs for bikes and cars, one-way signs on Short Street and the end of Pine, speed limit signs, signs about dogs and leashes. Except for the traffic signs within a block or so of Lincoln, most are ignored.

Signs raise people's expectations. If you see a stop sign you expect the car approaching it to stop, so you proceed. When you've seen a sign prohibiting bikes on sidewalks, you walk out of a door without looking. If you do either of those things in much of Steamboat, you're asking for trouble.

We all know of the staffing problems in law enforcement agencies so it's difficult to ask them to enforce all the laws the signs represent.

It's probably unrealistic to ask City Council to, for example, change many of the stop signs in Old Town to yields, since that's how most drivers treat them.

It is realistic to ask City Council to do two things.

First, decide which signs, when violated, really affect safety, like bikes on the sidewalks or the stop sign in front of Soda Creek Elementary, then enforce them until we get the message.

Second, before putting up another sign, make sure there are the resources to enforce it. Whether it's a "go slow" sign on Spring Creek or a new stop sign, make sure an officer will be there a few hours a day for a few months giving out tickets, not warnings, until everyone obeys it. Don't just put the sign up and assure the proponents that the problem is solved.

Lee Johnson

Steamboat Springs

UNFAIR ASSESSMENTCounty Assessor Vision 2001: Tax 'em ''til a higher power says that's enough.

First we will reclassify, then we will raise the retail and lodging properties so much they have to pass it on to the consumer, then we will use comparables from 15 miles away, raise others 44 percent in one year (Me), then, whew, we made it.

I am missing something. Last year they lowered the value of my dwelling. This year, they raised it 44 percent (nice return on investment) and I live in Hayden.

Wouldn't all Haydenites love it if their property actually grew in real terms by 44 percent in one year? I protested and by Notice of Determination was denied.

I called for an explanation and they faxed me comparables from Steamboat I and II, Elk Ridge, Milner (close, but no cigar), Moon Hill and Captains Cove.

To quote John Stossel "give me a break."

I happily will pay my taxes to live in a naturally beautiful area, but a 44-percent increase in one year is indefensible and beyond reason.

I urge those with similar experiences to protest.

Dan Huizenga

Hayden

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