Forum held tonight to discuss bus route

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Commuters wishing the Steamboat Springs Transit bus route included a stop on Hilltop Parkway or Fish Creek Falls Road may have their desires fulfilled soon.

If you go

What: Public forum to discuss possible stops on the city's new Hilltop Parkway/Fish Creek Falls Road bus route

When: 5 to 7 p.m.

Where: Transit Operations Center, 1463 13th St. (not the Stock Bridge Transit Center)

Contact: Jonathan Flint, operations manager for the city's Transit Department

— Residents in neighborhoods along Fish Creek Falls Road and Hilltop Parkway have a chance to comment on the new city bus route coming to their area this winter.

Tonight, officials from the Steamboat Springs' Transit Department are hosting a public forum about the new route at the city's Transit Operations Center on 13th Street.

Operations Manager Jonathan Flint said the forum is intended to help the department plan logistics such as bus stops and hours of operation for the route, which is planned to run up Hilltop Parkway from U.S. Highway 40, continue north on Tamarack Drive and then come down Fish Creek Falls Road into Old Town.

"We have an idea of what we want to do, but (the forum) is really an opportunity for people to come in and tell us what they would like to see from the service," Flint said.

The route is part of the city's 2006-07 winter service plan, which Transit Director George Krawzoff said should begin shortly after Thanksgiving.

Krawzoff announced last month that the Colorado Department of Transportation awarded the city $44,000 in federal grant funds to develop an expansion bus route. Providing a route for residents in the Fish Creek Falls Road area has been discussed since at least 2000, Krawzoff said, making the new route the culmination of a lengthy community effort.

Flint said factors including lines of sight for bus and vehicle drivers, safety and proximity to potential passengers are part of selecting bus stops along a route.

On Hilltop Parkway and Tamarack Drive, finding places for a bus to pull off the road will be difficult, he said.

"The shoulders are pretty tight in a lot of spots," Flint said. "We'll probably be doing a lot of in-street stops, so we'll want to make sure there are very good lines of sight for all vehicles."

The direction of the loop and whether buses will go up or down the steep Fish Creek Falls Road will be "open for discussion" tonight, Flint said.

"It's a hilly community with a lot of curves," he said. "Up or down, Fish Creek Falls Road is a place where the drivers are going to have to take it nice and easy," Flint said.

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