'Give buses a break'

City official asks drivers to slow down, leave room



Steamboat Springs Transit exceeded the 1 million mark for the first time with its local service, serving 1,144,800 passengers in 2007.

— A city transit official is pleading with local drivers to slow down when they're near public buses on Steamboat's snowy and crowded streets.

"Please give buses a break," Steamboat Springs Transportation Director George Krawzoff said Thursday, a day after a Steamboat Springs woman was arrested and hospitalized with minor injuries after rear-ending a Steamboat Springs Transit bus on Pine Grove Road.

Krawzoff said the incident was at least the second vehicle-bus collision in Steamboat this winter. He said that as the snow piles up, especially along Lincoln Avenue, cars and buses have less room to maneuver and more chances for accidents.

"Staying well back from buses and allowing more following

room would be a huge help," Krawzoff said, noting that Steamboat currently has an "honor system" for sharing the road. "Some cities have bus-priority laws. At this point, we're relying on people being courteous."

Jim Weber, the city's director of public works, said tight spaces along Lincoln Avenue are a fact of life in Steamboat. Weber said Lincoln Avenue is 70 feet wide, a distance that includes two 8-foot parking lanes, four 11-foot driving lanes and one 10-foot center, or turning, lane.

"The turning lane and parking lanes are about 2 feet narrower than recommended," Weber said Friday. "We do have, in a manner of speaking, a substandard width - or a width that does not meet all the recommended uses - in the downtown corridor."

"It's something we're stuck with," he continued. "I don't think business owners that have frontage on Lincoln Avenue would want their sidewalks narrower than they are right now."

Weber said city plow crews did extra clearing of Lincoln Avenue on Thursday and Friday nights.

"It's been a relatively straightforward winter, but the last couple weeks have created some problems," Weber said.

Krawzoff also reminded residents traveling on or near Hilltop Parkway, Steamboat Boulevard and Yampa Valley Medical Center to try the new bus routes servicing those areas. The routes are currently operating on temporary funding from the city and could be taken away if the amount of passengers doesn't warrant the cost of the routes.

"Future funding for those routes will be much more likely if people vote with their patronage," Krawzoff said.


steamvent 10 years, 1 month ago

Yes, of course, be cautious when approaching a bus. The drivers have a tough job. But the story should have mentioned that the woman who rear ended the bus on Pine Grove Road in the middle of the afternoon was falling down DRUNK! Using the incident to hype driver's actions near busses is misleading.


Troutscout 10 years, 1 month ago

Buses Give Us a Brake is how this headline should read. I was traveling next to, not passing, a city bus when the bus driver decided to move left into my lane, forcing me to move left into the center lane which would have caused me to rear-end a car making a left turn from the center turning lane. I gave a small toot of my horn to let the bus driver know that I was there. When we stopped for the next light the bus driver pulled next to me and started yelling at me.

If the lane I was riding in was obstructed I would be required to stop. Not bully my way into another lane. It appears as if this driver thinks might makes right. This bus driver already drives as if he has "Priority". The worst thing that could happen is giving this bully a legal right to force others off the road. Buses are no more important than any other vehicle. This driver needs to learn to take his turn.


fish 10 years, 1 month ago

If the snow along the edge of the sidewalk is making it so busses cannot get over then it is time for the city to plow those banks off. Bus drivers and shuttle drivers usually just don't pull over farther because they don't want riders to have to wade over the snow banks. These banks make it all but impossible for people in wheelchairs to get out in Steamboat in the winter, and it is time for the city to spend the money to keep these banks down. They can afford to build a luxury club house for Haymaker and everything else but they can't afford to plow the snow. What a joke. Let's just send out a notice to the paper to watch out for drivers instead of actually doing something about the problem. GEEZ.


WZ 10 years, 1 month ago

Bull crap. Maybe the city shouldn't hire people from Australia and other places where it never snows to drive bus in our extreme winters. You should send a reporter to ride the buses incognito and report on the experience. Think different, Scott. Hmmm, what should I do with this video and audio I captured on my cell phone??? I could easily have a lawsuit brought against the city with it...


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