The Routt County Board of Commissioners voted 2-1 Tuesday to narrow the shoulder along the straightaway on Routt County Road 36 through Strawberry Park. The decision disappointed area cyclists and many Strawberry Park residents.

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The Routt County Board of Commissioners voted 2-1 Tuesday to narrow the shoulder along the straightaway on Routt County Road 36 through Strawberry Park. The decision disappointed area cyclists and many Strawberry Park residents.

Cyclists spurned

In split vote, commissioners decide to trim shoulders on C.R. 36

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— The broad shoulders enjoyed by cyclists and other nonmotorized users of one of Routt County's most popular recreation corridors are about to shrink.

In a split vote Tuesday, the Routt County Board of Commissioners directed Road and Bridge Director Paul Draper to change the configuration of Routt County Road 36 to widen vehicle lanes from 9 feet to 10 feet, thus shrinking the roads current 5-foot shoulders to 4-foot ones.

The change will be carried out when the road is next striped, Draper said, probably before the Fourth of July. The stretch of road affected is from city limits to a bridge over Soda Creek. C.R. 36 ends at the Strawberry Park Hot Springs and leads to several trails and accesses to public lands. It also provides access to C.R. 38, which leads to Dry Lake Campground, Buffalo Pass and other popular areas of the Routt National Forest.

Draper said the county does not formally designate bicycle lanes on any of its roads, but the wide shoulders on C.R. 36 have become just that in practice. Its current configuration and width were the result of a conscious effort to make the road friendlier for cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians, county records show.

Commissioners Nancy Stahoviak and Doug Monger voted in favor of the reconfiguration, snubbing several members of the public who came to the Tuesday morning hearing or wrote e-mails to support the road's current configuration. Both commissioners said the lines on either side of a 9-foot travel lane are too close for comfort.

"I have to tell you it did not create a calming effect for me," said Stahoviak, who had her husband drive her down the road last week. "It was not a comfortable feeling. : My husband is also a pretty good driver, and it made him nervous."

Monger referred to the motion that ultimately passed as "splitting the baby." In addition to widening the vehicle lanes and narrowing the shoulders by a foot, Monger's motion called for more proactive signage urging all users to share the road.

Noting the road's heavy recreational use, Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush voted against Monger's motion and said she would rather see the lanes left alone.

Those in favor of the current configuration include the Strawberry Park Group, a loose affiliation of homeowners in the area, according to Strawberry Park Group board member Michael Loomis. Loomis said the group would have donated $1,000 for more signage on the road if the county left the lane configuration alone.

Geneva Taylor, a Strawberry Park resident and wife of Republican state Sen. Jack Taylor, led efforts to bring the issue to a hearing before the commissioners, and she was the only person who spoke in favor of a change at Tuesday's hearing.

"I'm the one that started all of this," said Taylor, who said she has witnessed several near-miss accidents between cars and cyclists in the three years since the road was striped to its current configuration. "I only felt that I needed to report it because I feel it was a safety issue. : (Cyclists) are out there to have a great day, and they should be able to. But I don't want them to ruin my day because they're in my way when they shouldn't be."

Mitsch Bush asked several questions throughout the hearing that revealed her preference to leave the road as is. In response to her questions, Draper confirmed that there is a huge recreational reliance on the road.

"It's not just a farm to market road," Draper said.

Prompted by Mitsch Bush, Draper also confirmed that narrow roads make drivers uncomfortable with driving fast.

"We were trying to take advantage of the concept of traffic calming," Draper said. "You have to watch what you're doing if you want to stay within the lanes. : It works."

Speeding was a major concern of many of the residents who attended Tuesday's hearing. Loomis said people rarely drive the 35 mph speed limit on the road and feared widening the lanes would make the situation even worse.

"I do feel having the narrow roadway does help people lower their speed a little bit," Loomis said.

Tania Coffey said speeding cars often terrorize the horses she rides along the shoulder of C.R. 36. Mitsch Bush sympathized with the residents concerned about speed.

"That visual of that wider lane will indeed increase speeding," she said.

But Stahoviak noted that complaints about speed have not decreased since the lanes were narrowed three years ago.

"In my opinion, this narrow lane has not decreased that desire to speed," she said.

And Monger took another view, arguing that the wide shoulders are "specifically enabling and encouraging unsafe bicycle behavior" because many cyclists choose to ride two or three abreast in the wide shoulder rather than single file.

A 2002 traffic study of C.R. 36 showed that it has 1,476 average daily automobile trips. Draper said virtually all accidents on the road occur in the winter months. Sgt. Scott Elliott of the Colorado State Patrol said there are few accidents on the road and that he cannot recall any involving a bicycle in the 10 months he has worked in the Steamboat Springs area.

Last year, the League of American Bicyclists awarded the city of Steamboat Springs with a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community designation. In an e-mail to Mitsch Bush, Emmanuelle Vital wrote that C.R. 36 was "a great asset" in the city's application for the designation.

Vital, who was hired by the city to coordinate its application, wrote that many photographs that illustrated C.R. 36's wide shoulders and "Share the road" signs were included in application materials.

"The maintenance of this shoulder and the creation of additional shoulders would greatly help maintain the award and possibly receive greater designation in the future," Vital wrote.

Comments

colowoodsman 6 years, 1 month ago

Public roads are transportation corridors meant for getting people and goods from one place to another. They are not 'recreation areas'. With all the recreation oppurtunities available in Routt Co. (including mountain biking on forest roads) it is incomprehensible why anyone would endanger themselves and others by getting their 'excercise' on narrow mountain roads. Either they get paid very well for all the advertising they do or they just have a death wish!

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colowoodsman 6 years, 1 month ago

I used to think that cyclist wore those goofy looking helmets to protect their brains. Now I realize they are completly useless.

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Jason Miller 6 years, 1 month ago

"But I don't want them to ruin my day because they're in my way when they shouldn't be." That's fair enough. However, i do not want you to ruin my day, because you are in your monster SUV talking on a cell phone and not watching where you are going. You know Shakespeare got it almost right when he said," All lawyers should be shot". He should of included politician, as well.

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handyman 6 years, 1 month ago

I have seen too many cyclists who are careless in their riding. Riding two and three abreast in the bike lane when it puts one of them on the line and part way into traffic isn't very safe. I had an encounter where I was driving on a rural road going the speed limit of 25 mph and a bicyclist came flying around a blind corner on gravel and blasted through a stop sign right in front of me and had to stand on his skiddies. He snarled at me. I see a LOT of bicyclists who think that stop signs are only for cars, not them when they're riding in the flow of traffic. I think that they have a right to ride, and I don't know what the answer is, but if they don't use care and obey the rules of the road when they are in the road, they will end up hurt. And who gets blamed in a bicycle/car accident?

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sickofitall 6 years, 1 month ago

lol, I guess folks just don't drive for the "fun of it".

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grannyrett 6 years, 1 month ago

sickofitall-lol, with the price of fuel, most folks just don't drive for the "fun of it".

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old_town 6 years, 1 month ago

What a waste of time and money considering all of the other roads in the area that are much more dangerous and in need of attention. If cyclists are being dangerous and disregarding laws then police should just take notice and issue citations like they would for anyone else breaking the law (And I say that as a cyclist). The reality of that road is that cars speed on it all the time and everyone who lives up there knows it and most residents wanted the lanes kept where they are because thats the big safety issue, not someone riding their horse or a few cyclists that might get in the way of a motorist and force them to yield. Everyone has a story of an angry cyclists blowing stop signs, but the reality is this does not reflect most cyclists.

Thanks to a state senators wife complaining, the overwhelming majority of people who showed up were disregarded. Ask anyone who went to the meeting, it was a joke thanks to two county commissioners. And as for Nancy Stahoviak, she said here husband was "nervous" in their wide vehicle, how the hell does he drive down main street if that road makes him nervous? And why has she not been up that road in ten years if she is a county commissioner?

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steamvent 6 years, 1 month ago

I am a cyclist and ride the roads, but I ride to stay alive. When I see bike riders two or three abreast, I shudder to think how their belligerent behavior may be inciting vehicle drivers and how I could be those drivers' next target. Just last week I watched a mountain bike rider turn left into traffic coming towards him on Lincoln at Old Fish Creek Falls Road by the hot springs pool ... he danced his bike between the two oncoming lanes full of streaming traffic until a nervous driver stopped to let him cross to head up Old Fish Creek, jamming traffic up the hill. Crazy behavior by that biker pissed off at least the 40 drivers that witnessed it for sure. But then, I've been held up on my bike by Winter Sports Club ski skaters who filled up the road like they were entitled to it. Everyone needs to think about staying alive for the next day of exercise!

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BoatMaster 6 years, 1 month ago

Nancy Stahoviak should be ashamed of herself. She pushed through a change that the people did not want. The locals even offered to pay for more signage for bicycle safety if she did not make the changes. Nice Job.....NOT.

Handyman - We can all cite a instance when we saw a bicycle commit a traffic infraction and the same goes for seeing Automobiles commit a traffic infraction. I bet we can all recite MANY MANY more AUTO INFRACTIONS than bicycle infractions cant we?? You ask who gets blamed in Bicycle Auto accidents didn't you? Well the answer is in another article in Todays paper where the Bicyclist ran a red light and was hit by a truck. The Bicyclist was in the wrong and everyone including the paper has pointed out the Biker was wrong and the Truck was not wrong. So the answer is the guilty party is the one who gets blamed. You implication that only Auto drivers get blamed does not hold true.

Everyone needs to share the road and the future is more bicycle lanes...NOT LESS.

Do you hear this Nancy Stahoviak ??

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dave mcirvin 6 years, 1 month ago

I was riding out there yesterday morning and RCR 36 is wide and pretty straight. It is far less problematic especially on weekends than say river road, 20 mile road, 129, 131 south of Stagecoach where the excessive vehicle speed and large trucks are far more worrisome without decent shoulders for anything or anyone.

Go by any of the busy bike shops here in town and one will see how Routt Co/Stbt is becoming a more and more bike endemic town. Perhaps too much attention has been directed at currying the favor Triple Crown's love but how about widening some road shoulders. How about throwing your arms around those shoulders and showing a lil' love for the good of the bicyclists and to the drivers trying to manuever around the many cyclists with oncoming traffic?

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OnTheBusGus 6 years, 1 month ago

Driving is fun if you know what you are doing. Every factor is made for safety (air bags, ABS brakes, traction control, wider roads, bigger signs, etc.) but no one addresses the one key thing to driving, the driver. We need more driver training in this country, especially as folks age. Sounds like Nancy's husband could use some if that road scared him. I have seen many bicyclists in the wrong (like the three mountain bikers who flew through the 4-way stop at 5th and Oak last night with nary a look to see if a car was about) but with more cyclists on the road for recreation and transportation, I think the county needs to enforce existing laws and make cycling safer with signs and lanes especially in highly traveled routes.

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Wolf 6 years, 1 month ago

How appropriate for 'Bike to Work' week. One speaker, the wife of a retiring politico, whose analysis flies in the face of the objective testimony and now we all have to suffer. Can we re-introduce the issue?

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tom bedell 6 years, 1 month ago

as a local cyclist i found this news discouraging, particularly the quote by Geneva Taylor. while i'll admit some cyclist ride irresponsibly and set a bad example for all, this shouldn't reflect negatively on the group as a whole. remember the saying ' one bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch'. thanks to Diane Mitsch Bush for taking a stand on this. we need to work together to make our roads safe for everyone.

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steamboatparent 6 years, 1 month ago

Watching the meeting yesterday was an education in democracy. Public comment, especially from the residents of Strawberry Park, seemed to be largely ignored. Paul Draper's comments were largely ignored and a person who has travelled the road once in the last 10 years decided that kids on bikes needed less space in order to make it safer. It seems the awareness of where Steamboat is headed as a recreational destination (how many new units are being built right now to fuel that) is lacking in two of our elected officials. Thankfully over the years laws have been put on the books to protect the ranching heritage of our county. No one is trying to take that away but we need to look at the future and try and protect the recreational users as we move forward. This little section of deadend road should be an easy place for visitors to ride. Unfortunately it just got a little harder.

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DISRAELIGEARS 6 years, 1 month ago

Having been clipped by a hit-n-run truck several years ago, I can tell you it is discouraging to read the news on this piece. When I was hit, I was as far to the right as the pavement would allow. As popular as this road is, it is sad to think cyclists and motorists cannot share. Cyclists need to obey the laws, and folks like Geneva Taylor need to have a little patience.

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Tamera Manzanares 6 years, 1 month ago

The road is obviously not wide enough to please everybody. Narrowing the shoulder is just going to push more cyclists (especially inexperienced riders) out into the road. Although I don't condone it, irreverent behavior by some bicyclists is a defense mechanism in a place where cars have been allowed to rule the road. Head to a different locale -- Telluride for example -- where the community has been forced to tightly control traffic, and the dynamics seem much different, at least from my perspective. Cyclists and pedestrians aren't fearful and drivers understand their place. In Routt County, where geography has afforded drivers much more power, perhaps a little patience and respect from all users would help. As far as RCR 36 goes -- I agree with others that the money should go toward improving other, much more dangerous roads, not just those where politicians' wives are inconvenienced. Also, if a county commissioner has so much experience with a road that she needs a refresher drive, maybe there should be more discussion before she and others make their decisions.

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RoxyDad 6 years, 1 month ago

In the Netherlands the bicyclists have many rights above the automobiles. This results in millions of people who ride their bikes as their main source of transportation. Through the countryside and the city.

This also results in almost no cases of obesity, much lower oil consumption, longer lives, and more socialbility.

Is there a problem with the above lifestyle? or do we still need to push the bikes off the road so the "nervous" drivers of automobiles can have more space?

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mominboat 6 years, 1 month ago

Looks like the county commissioners are taking their tactics training from the Steamboat Springs School Board.....constituents don't matter, their decision was already made.

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Andrew Bisbee 6 years, 1 month ago

PS. you should all stop the anonymous logins... lets use this for the benefit of our town instead of for loud mouths and negative crap slingers that can't back their words. :-)

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scooter 6 years, 1 month ago

RoxyDad...

In the Netherlands gas is somewhere in the range of $12.00 per gallon.

That's a whole different animal...

If and when we arrive at that number in the US... I'm sure you will see 3 cars for every 100 bikes around here.

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crossbikesafety 6 years, 1 month ago

For all you cyclists out there who are dismayed and disappointed - perhaps we can seek the assistance from the following: Bicycle Colorado: (303) 417-1544 or info@bicyclecolorado.org Dan Grunig, Executive Director

League of American Bicyclists (who gave Steamboat the designation as "Bicycle Friendly Community"): 202-822-1333 bill@bikeleague.org or bikeleague@bikeleague.org Contact: Bill Nesper

Call or Email them!!! Maybe our voice will be heard by someone.

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RoxyDad 6 years, 1 month ago

Hi Scooter.

I'm not comparing the costs of gasoline in each country.

I am comparing the bicycle situation. The Netherlands has always been a bicycle friendly country at all gas prices. They are also in much better condition than the typical American (including me)

Do we have to wait for the gas price to go so high before bike lanes are built?? There already is a lane on this road and they voted to get rid of it. Wrong Vote I say.

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justathought 6 years, 1 month ago

And when we "see 3 cars for every 100 bikes around here" will they be paying the road taxes the cars do? Will they be carrying mandatory insurance to cover idiotic moves like running red lights and causing accidents? Will the cops start ticketing the bike riders passing on the right, running lights and signs, weaving in and out of traffic between cars, etc.? I see them widening a "road" by using an extra foot of it's shoulder, no where did I see where they were altering a "bike path". As far as ignoring the public, I don't know how many "several members of the public" actually is but I doubt it reflected the "1,476 average daily automobile trips" (6 year old numbers) on the road.

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Andrew Bisbee 6 years, 1 month ago

Once again people don't see the obvious.

Recreation and tourism is what brings money to this area. Money is what brings jobs which puts food on your tables. I'd like to see people and our town continue to prosper.

We should be even more recreation based than we are. We should be a bike friendly town, at this point we are not. A core trail is a weak attempt at bike friendly.

And for those of you drivers that get all silly about bikes on the road, relax and be patient. Just go around and stop getting all worked up. It is not a big deal.

-biz

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SilverSpoon 6 years, 1 month ago

Steamboat can't have it both ways. The "bike friendly" status is yet another marketing ploy. If steamboaters really want to express their "rights" on the roads, they should organize a critical mass http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical... Right down lincoln ave, at 5pm. Unsafe drivers need to slow down for cyclists, that is the bottom line. It is NEVER safe to pass a cyclist, even "single file" with oncoming traffic present. Bike lanes make it safer, but i guess they are squeezing those out. Maybe the commissioners should drill for oil in the bike lane while their at it.

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nickleD 6 years, 1 month ago

This is not simply a cyclists vs motorists issue! Their is a wide mix of non-motorized use on this road, look at the front page of the Today paper with this article. There are nearly as many runners, walkers and horses that use this roadway on a daily basis as there are cyclists. Very few motorists follow the letter of the law on this road (speed limit, running stop signs at Amethyst and CR38 intersections), so why focus on the minority of cyclists who don't follow the law either? Doug and Nancy need to get out of their vehicles and travel as a non-motorized user to do justice to their views on safety for all users. This action will reduce the size of the non-motorized user lane all the way past the schools on Amethyst as well (currently the same width as CR36), compromising safety for any kids using these routes to get to our schools. Is this the right message for our county to send our youth?

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crossbikesafety 6 years, 1 month ago

The tax argument doesn't hold up - almost all cyclists have cars and homes - paying their share of taxes. We may miss out on some fuel taxes, but bikes don't tear up the roads very much.

Maybe Instead of cycling to work and being an annoyance to everyone between stagecoach and steamboat, I should just start driving and obeying that 35-45 MPH speed limit, then you could swear at me the whole way to the next passing lane rather than for a few seconds.

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SilverSpoon 6 years, 1 month ago

http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikecost/primer.cfm Recommended bike lane for roads with traffic traveling 50mph is 5 ft. Maybe they should enforce the speed limit, Give Mrs white a few 15 over speeding tickets down "her" road.

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scooter 6 years, 1 month ago

RoxyDad... Though I hate to say it. Steamboat is still ...The old boy's and girls club...PC...PC...PC. It's really unfair for everyone. We who have lived her 12+ years all understand it. I for one hate it. And then add the Taylors in the mix... And your done before you start. US40 from Silverthorne to Steamboat should have an 6'+ wide bike easement (to Steamboat), and Steamboat should have a 4'+ wide, level, and clean bike easement... EVERYWHERE! Someday...

And I'm not really a rider. So there!

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id04sp 6 years, 1 month ago

I would like it very much if the county would build a "diamond lane" down the middle of CR-129 from Hahn's Peak to US 40 and make it a HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane headed south from Midnight to Noon, and north from Noon to Midnight so that all of us who ride 2 or more per vehicle can drive 65 mph in the diamond lane and avoid the vehicle traffic AND bike traffic on the shoulders.

This is only fair because, well, I want it and I need it and I pay taxes and it would be better for ME, no matter what anybody else needs.

After all, why can't the cyclists jog instead? They get just as much exercise and burn just as many calories, and don't need nearly as many miles of bike lanes to get the same benefit from jogging.

Maybe instead of bike lanes, the county could set up a number of training centers around the county with stationary bikes and IMAX films of the mountains so that people can get the benefit of biking and enjoy the scenery. Or, if you're REALLY into it, why not go in with a buddy and put an exercise bike in the back of a pickup truck, and take turns driving while your buddy rides the exercise bike.

These are ALL reasonable, viable alternate solutions to the conflict which are more affordable than providing a bike lane along each of the major roads in the county.

By the way, the other day, I approached a group of cyclists who were all bunched up in the bike lane, and one of them decided to make a quick dart to the left to pass the bunch as I approached from behind. There was no other vehicle in sight in front of me, or behind me, so I was able to pass the yo-yo without plowing into him or his friends, but you COULD be reading about that accident instead if the yo-yo had waited another two seconds to swerve out in front of me.

If the bike Nazis need to sacrifice one of their number every few months to make a point, okay, but how do they pick the martyr? Does it have anything to do with virgins in the afterlife? Some of these people are NUTS, and they are going to get what they deserve if they go around challenging vehicles to hit them. Not everyone drives sober and has fighter-pilot reflexes, ya know? The sleepy trucker hauling 10,000 gallons of gasoline and talking on his cell phone just might not be able to react in time to avoid making a biker into a smear on the asphalt.

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blackthroatedwind 6 years, 1 month ago

What a joke! I've been traveling that road for 24 years, used to live there at one time. Never did it occur to me that the lanes were too narrow! Nancy Stahoviak, gimme a break!!!! "...was not a comfortable feeling..." !!!! Geez, if you're not comfortable driving aStrawberry Park Road, you must be terrified driving down Lincoln, or I-70, or Broadway in Denver! C'mon, Monger, strap 'em on! That road ain't dangerous! My gosh, people, get some common sense! Next biker who gets clipped on that road is partially your fault, commissioners!

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id04sp 6 years, 1 month ago

Hey, uh, being serious this time, the lines are only PAINT! If the bikers will stay to the right and be aware of vehicles approaching from behind, it's still the same amount of road. Put ACET out there running radar with a drug dog, and you'll see the speed limits obeyed religiously.

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JustAsking 6 years, 1 month ago

Why not leave the existing stripe where it is and add a second stripe at the four foot mark to create a foot wide "no man's land?"

Creating this buffer should separate the law abiding bikers and vehicles and make it safer for both as well as a more "comfortable" feeling all around. .

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wizzer 6 years, 1 month ago

We should have a physical fitness test for the pilot site staff. That would be fun to watch.

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forreal 6 years, 1 month ago

look alive everyone, it's moron bicyclist season again. this is just the beginning. most people don't have the common sense to make everyday decisions, let alone ride a bicycle on a highway with that was built for vehicles, highways that weren't made to accomodate bicycles. the only thing i want to know is if the truck was damaged and if it is, who'll pay for it. regardless what the law states, bicyclists have no business weaving in and out of traffic on linclon avenue. they can't ride on the sidewalk. we need to think of a solution and build a bikepath that will work for commuters and people who have no other means of transportation so people will stop getting hit. and, riding a bicycle on county roads, with inadequate shoulders, and a high speed limlit; i mean, come on. that's a sign of someone who isn't intelligent.

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sickofitall 6 years, 1 month ago

Granyerett, I strongly disagree. The good ole' United States is finally catching up with the rest of the world regarding fuel prices. Road trips are an American Tradition. A gallon of gas is well worth the 4 dollars they are charging. Think about all the snowblowing, lawnmowing and weedwacking not to mention that a GOOD vehicle can go 25 miles on just one gallon of gas. You can even haul a case of beer! I still take a scenic route and do not mind driving a little out of the way, hell for 15 dollars I can see about 75 miles of good scenery..stop yer whining and invest in oil while it is truly still cheap. and yes, lol.

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old_town 6 years, 1 month ago

Riding a bicycle on a county road is a "sign of someone who isn't intelligent"? That has to be the most constructive and intelligent statement in this discussion thus far!? I would argue blowing money on gas, being fat and lazy by driving everywhere, driving dangerously large vehicles, telling people that bicycles should be banned from certain roads and being a hater of someone's lifestyle/commuter/recreation choices is a better indicator of unintelligence. And anyone that goes over the posted speed limit is also clearly a moron with no brains, specifically because they are endangering their own and other's lives, but also because they might be getting lower gas mileage.

Its easy to single out cyclists because there are a lot of them in this area, but be sure to hate on the runners, roller skiers, horseback riders, slow moving trackers/farm equipment, wildlife, wide load trucks, senior citizens, and construction equipment, and of course those bike riding nazis, who probably live next door to you, cause they all might be out there on the road this time of season and could endanger your life. The reality is all roads are going to become more multi-use no matter how much you hate it and constructive solutions like enforcing cycling laws and safe shoulders, which are better for everyone. I would pay a bicycle tax if I knew it was going to widen shoulders.

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fartpark 6 years, 1 month ago

Why does it matter if they narrow the "bike" lanes, none of the idiots ride on the shoulder anyway. Way too often there will be a pack of Tour De France wannabes riding 2,3,4 abreast and could care less if there are vehicles coming at them or not. What about the high dollar bike path in town? The cops need to start ticketing the cyclists that don't obey the rules, but have you ever seen a bike pulled over by a cop?????

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forreal 6 years, 1 month ago

picture this. which i'm sure anyone who lives around here can. you're going 45 mph in a vehicle on highway 129, which is the speed limit, and there is some idiot bicyclist in the middle of the road as you come around the corner. that's a sign of someone who is not intelligent. picture a big truck coming down the other lane headed right for you. do you get into a head on collision or do you take out the idiot on the bike? of course you take out the bike. that's a no brainer. moron bicyclist-20 pts.

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Zed 6 years, 1 month ago

Why are you being so hateful? How do you think you would feel if you were to "take out the bike?" Who do you think is going to win that contest? You obviously have never been in a bicycle accident before- as any serious/traffic/law abiding cyclist will tell you, the LAST thing they want to do is impede a truck, SUV, or car and end up getting hit and sliding 20 feet on asphalt. I value my life. I hope you would value mine as well. Sharing the road means being safe and respectful to all who are using the roads.

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sickofitall 6 years, 1 month ago

As idiotic as it seems I will always yield to cyclist. (P.S. I mtn.bike with a hate for being on the road)

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old_town 6 years, 1 month ago

forreal, your hypothetical situation is a bit weak. How would it be different if there was a tree in the road, a police officer with someone pulled over or maybe your car just stalled out and you can't move it out of the travel lane. Do I hit you? Wait, my car has brakes and I can see you ahead of me. It is pretty obvious you are just trying to intimidate people by threatening their lives, which is probably what you do in your car as well, whether it be idiot biker or idiot driver. A large part of 129 has fairly wide shoulders and is pretty safe for riding. But its always that one or group of angry idiot bikers out in the middle of the road that makes for perfect evidence.

"Tour de France wannabes", you got a laugh from me on that one. Let the flaming begin, it feels good hiding behind your computer spewing hate, just like when you are behind the wheel of your car/truck where you can speed away after you flip me the bird, throw a bottle at me or call me gay. You should pull over next time and we can continue this discussion in person. Oh thats right, if you couldn't yield for 30 seconds you probably don't have time to stop and chat.

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forreal 6 years, 1 month ago

i can't believe you all are defending this. you must be the idiots i'm talking about. there's nothing hypothetical about it. it happens every day. i have a low tolerance for stupidity and of all the towns i've lived in, this one is chalked full. moron bicyclist-20 pts.

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old_town 6 years, 1 month ago

Your right forreal, killing someone who is stupid is the more defensible argument/solution to the problem. Hope you don't do something stupid and get killed for it.

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mombo 6 years, 1 month ago

Well, now cyclists may have to do what is safe & proper when the road isn't wide enough for safe passage... TAKE THE ENTIRE LANE. It is the obligation of all road users, car or bike, to be in control of their vehicle & be able to to safely stop or avoid any obstructions in the roadway, including slow moving vehicles. As a cyclist, if I don't think there is sufficient room for safe passing around me, I should move to the middle of the lane, and cars must then wait for a safe passing area. Whether the "shoulder" is 4 or 5 feet wide should be irrelevent. What matters is if the roadway is used safely by all.

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fartpark 6 years, 1 month ago

old_town, how did you know that was me flipping you the bird and calling you gay??? Just kidding...But seriously, it seems that the ignorant bicyclers are everywhere. Hopefully someday this won't be an issue.

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steamboatyahoo 6 years, 1 month ago

forreal you only get 5 points for killing me because I ride just to the left of the white line, my right of course. This gives me lots of room on the right to bail out of the way of drivers like you in too much of a hurry to slow down. Ride at the edge of the payment and there is no room to bail for crazy maniac drivers looking to unload some of that road rage on a biker. Ride to the right and all you can when the aholes try to teach you a lesson is bail into the weeds.

So I'll be just left of the line waiting for you to hit me. Have fun.

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slow_rider 6 years, 1 month ago

"Stop the Brutal Re-striping"...read those bumper stickers

Bring back democratic process too....well we know that we have to wait for that in November officially...but in Steamboat, lets demand that now!

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WZ 6 years, 1 month ago

Recall Stahoviak and Monger!!

But not before making them ride a bike (or wheel chair) up and down 36 in heavy, two way traffic to experience what a nervous and uncomfortable feeling that is!

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steamboatparent 6 years, 1 month ago

Biz is right, the point is the path has been set whether you like it or not. Many of us as well as developers have come to this area to capitalize on the recreational posibilities. There will be more bikes on the roads and we all need to approach this in a rational way.

Educating cyclists to ride with more respect and educating non-cyclists to understand it is usually a 30 second inconvienience on a 20 minute drive might be a start. The number of commuters and recreational riders will only increase in the coming years. Antagonism won't make them go away.

The origin of this thread is about two of our county commisioners that don't reconize this growth in usage. They insist that a deadend county road that leads to several mountain bike rides, Perry Mansfield and many childrean's homes within sight of 2 schools should be made easier to drive ( 2 miles of road?). How scary can it really be to drive 2 miles of 35 mph road with a 9' wide car lane. Be patient, pass when you can.

As one of America's olympic training centers, I hope non riders will understand that some of America's best are out on your roads training for the next Olympics.

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trump_suit 6 years, 1 month ago

It is sad that everytime ths basic argument comes up, we pit the antagonistic cyclists who DEMAND their right to the road against the motorist who insists that they will hit the cyclist rather than slow down or hit the other auto.

What gives here people, As a cyclist, I personally avoid many of our cramped roads, and always try to stay as far right as possible. It scares my badly when the automobile comes so close that the air pushes you further to the right and unbalances you in an already dangerous place. What is the big deal about slower vehicles (bikes) staying to the right in single file except to pass. This is after all the law for ALL vehicles on the road.

Motorists, do you really want the life of that cyclist on your consicous forever just to save the 30-40 seconds it took you to get around????? What is up with all the bad attitudes about cyclists in Steamboat???? Does it really matter if the bike lane is 2', 3' or 4'???? Even if the cyclist is in the dead center of the road, they cannot be harder to avoid than the numerous deer/elk we all encounter on a daily basis..

Lets have some basic understanding here. Does it really matter where the painted lines on the road are? I personally will drive at a speed and in a place that is safe for everyone in my view regardless of the paint on the road.

Just my .02 here, this argument about the sharing the road is simply silly, there is room for all in our beautiful valley.

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SilverSpoon 6 years, 1 month ago

Picture this CORE trail encounter.
A steamboat family, has 2 kids in the burley, taking up 2 hypethetical lanes; A TC family coming in the opposite direction. I the commuter moving faster than all three. What to do? A. Maintain speed and take out the children in the burley. B. Swerve and take out the TCers C. Hit the brakes and wait to pass.

The same encounter happens in cars. Although, a ted nugent, dale earnheart, wanna-be in a truck, feels their truck is their armor and killing a cyclist rates up with the points of tagging a raccoon. It sad that people must be in such a hurry, hopefully $5.00/gallon will cause the monster trucks to be repo'd.

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id04sp 6 years, 1 month ago

Okay, here's a real situation you all need to ponder.

The entrance to Willow Creek Pass subdivision is at the top of a hill on CR-129 about 20 or 21 miles up from town. It's common to see bikers going up the hill, south to north, cranking the granny gears. It's also common to see yahoos coming down from Steamboat Lake in big trucks, cars, and ESPECIALLY motorcycles doing well over the 45 mph limit.

People trying to enter CR-129 from Willow Creek Pass subdivision to go south are constantly being overtaken from behind and passed on the double yellow by faster vehicles coming down from Steamboat Lake, Hahn's Peak, etc.

One of these warm days there's going to be a biker cranking up that hill as somebody leaving the subdivision turns south, and somebody coming down from the lake area is going to come over the crest of the hill FLYING, as usual. The speeder has a choice of rear-ending the vehicle in front, or swerving to miss. Most of them swerve left, into the oncoming lane. So what if there's another vehicle coming up behind the biker headed north? SOMEBODY is going to get hit, or run off the road and roll into the ditch on the east side or the pond on the west side. The biker is the smallest target out there, and will be the last thing the guy doing the swerving sees.

There are plenty of big pickups hauling trailers in that area, carrying horses, cattle or just RV types coming down from the lake. If one of them has to jam on the brakes coming over the crest of that hill, you're looking at a jacknife and a trailer that may end up anywhere on either side of the road coming down that hill.

While there are many places on CR-129 that can put two or more vehicles plus a bike in the same space at the same time, this one just happens to be the one where I've seen most of the close calls. It's not the locals you should worry about as much as the tourists who don't know how to drive on a Colorado county road safely.

So, your spiffy glasses, Alien helmet, grinning sneer and spandex fetish gear are not going to provide much protection against 20,000 to 80,000 pounds of speeding vehicle on CR-129. These yahoos don't see bikes on the high-speed roads back where they live, and they don't expect to see them here, either. I'm sure they'll regret hitting you when your survivors file the lawsuit, but up to the moment of impact, there's only one person who can control the amount of danger a biker is in, and that's the biker. If you guys insist on taking the risk, whether you have the right to be there or not, you are the ones who will pay the biggest price if there's an accident.

All I can say is that the reward had better be greater than the risk, and to me, the risk of riding a bike on our heavily traveled narrow roads is not worth the reward. I've tried it, had the close calls, and now I don't do it.

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steamboatyahoo 6 years, 1 month ago

ID I ride bikes, the risks for me are less than the rewards. Been riding my bike around Steamboat and the surrounding area for 35+ years and have only been hit by a truck once (guy turning into GoFer Foods). Never been killed.

I haven't done a comprehensive study but I'd hazard the guess that more motorists die each year on Routt County roads than bicyclists. So which is safer?

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20yearplus 6 years, 1 month ago

I was around when they widened the Strawberry Park Road in the 90's. Part of the deal to appease the residents who opposed the widening because that it would increase speeding (by far the majority of the residents held this opinion) the commissioners agreed to keep the driving lanes narrow (9ft) to discourage speeding. Making the driving lanes wider will definitely increase the speeds of the drivers (as shown in studies quoted by Paul Draper). Narrowing the side lanes will most certainly make it more dangerous for bikers and pedestrians since in most places on the road there is no place to go because of the barrow ditches. I think the suggestion that we have 2 lines--one at 4 ft and one at 5ft to create a "no man's lane" is a great idea. Is there anything we can do to make the Commissioners revisit this issue?

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id04sp 6 years, 1 month ago

Well, Yahoo, statistically I'd say that motoring is safer because I never heard of a driver being killed when he hit a bicycle. Have you?

Someone who is safe and defensive is certainly less likely to be hit than someone who is daring and openly challenges vehicles for the right of way on the roads.

Pedestrian deaths have been up in recent years. They're not being hit by bicycles. The only difference between a pedestrian and a bicycle is a few feet per second and the distraction of the bike.

All it takes to kill a cyclist is one careless driver and one cyclist in the right place at the right time.

I once walked away from a helicopter crash with only cuts, bruises and a whiplash. (Actually, I swam away from it, but that's a different story). I also slipped off a ladder three rungs up and dislocated my ankle, a much more serious injury. So does that make ladders more dangerous than helicopters? Probably not.

In risk management, three factors are considered: Risk, exposure and severity. Risk is the probability of getting into an accident. Exposure is the vulnerability to injury if an accident occurs. Severity is the degree of loss given an accident to an exposed party. For a cyclist, exposure is 100%, and severity depends on what hit you, how big it is, and how fast it was going, and whether or not you were run over, and what part of you was run over.

The risk of an accident is the same for a motorist or a cyclist. Exposure is greater for the cyclist, and severity is generally much greater for the cyclist than the motorist. How fast the motorist is traveling when he hits the cyclist is the biggest factor in the severity of the injury, and the cyclist has little control over that.

When I was a kid, one of my peers was on a mo-ped when a van pulled out in front of him. He hit the truck, went 30 feet through the air, and died about an hour later. There was a little dent in the van.

Questions?

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steamboatyahoo 6 years, 1 month ago

thing about it ID is that drivers do things which get them killed at the wheel which most bicyclists don't do. Drinking and driving, texting or talking on their cell phones, eating lunch, changing the radio station or c.d. The vast majority of bicycle accidents are low-speed, single participant accidents, and these rarely produce more than just a scratch or scrape. Car accidents on the other hand tend to do more damage.

I challenge you to to name any bicyclist who has been killed on Steamboat's roads in the last 40 years. Now what about motorists, easily done with the internet.

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forreal 6 years, 1 month ago

first of all, i gaurantee i'm the best driver anywhere around here. i don't get upset behind the wheel of my car. i vent here. i always try to avoid accidents. i always anticipate a situation, and i always have a gameplan. i would never want to hit someone or see someone get hit. however, too many times, i've had to swerve out of the way because some retard was in the middle of the road on a bicycle right around a corner, while i was going the speed limit. thank god, for everyone, there wasn't a huge truck coming my way. you only have to have a 3rd grade education to know that a bicycle will not win an accident with a vehicle. even if you're only going 25mph you can kill someone on a bicycle. yes, it's a sign of someone who isn't intelligent. lets start with learning to look both ways before crossing the street, kids. especially if you're a granola crunching moron on a bicycle.

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forreal 6 years, 1 month ago

steamboatyahoo, if you're on a highway that has a 40mph speed limit and you are going around a corner, to the left of the white line, then maybe you should seek some emergency counsel for your ignorance as an adult. what gives you the right to do that. that's insane. someone might feel bad for slamming into you and you could get seriously injured or killed. if you have anyone who cares for you and loves you, please use your head.

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madmoores 6 years, 1 month ago

Id...word, I know precisely what you are talking about only on a different road in a different county, excellent post(s). I have coined a phrase using another already popular one, if we can all follow it maybe it will get better:

Share the road, it's a two way street ya know.

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surelysurly 6 years, 1 month ago

As I said in the "related" article, this is now getting to be a dead horse, but... The prejudice and discrimination against cyclists is something worthy of a psychology study. The 3 pedestrians crossing Lincoln in the middle of the street during rush, the street sweeper doing 5mph on 129, the striping/construction equipment on 129, and the "unlicensed" motocross bikes on our county road were all "dangerous" situations I encountered on my drive home today. Yet it appears that these relatively common situations wouldn't give anyone here any pause or second thought. But, if I had to slow for a few seconds for a cyclist, well then let's run 'em off the road, yell out the window, throw stuff, etc. I just don't get it. Let's try to keep the responses free of generalizations and assume that everyone is an individual out there. By the way, I know of more cyclists who have been injured on the "bike path" by unleashed dogs, tourists walking from in between cars, tubes, kayaks, then those who have been hurt on the road. I have also witnessed far more dangerous situations on the road with slow-moving farm equipment than I have with cyclists.

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HighlandClover 6 years, 1 month ago

Would it be too difficult to ask everyone to compromise? Drivers, don't be dumbasses, and don't be jerks. So the road wasn't every really meant for bikers and drivers. So the bikers could just as easily run or bike elsewhere or use a stationary bike or any number of ideas. Big deal. The fact of the matter is they aren't going to. So as drivers we (yes, I am one of you) can either keep bitching, and subsequently just be angry, because the bikers aren't going to stop biking, or we can adapt. Accept the narrow road, drive carefully, and man the heck up! Bikers: oh my god, chill. Stop riding in packs and ride in lines, at very least when the roads you are on are busy. Don't pass when a car is coming. I get that if you are behind someone who is slower than you are, its natural to want to pass them, and by all means you should. After the car, of whatever size (I myself drive a Geo Metro, for all you posters who are so sure that every person who gets annoyed by bikers must drive a gas-guzzling SUV of astronomic proportions), passes you by. Because really, wouldn't you like to keep enjoying your sport, instead of being injured temporarily or permanently?

The point, for all my off-shoots, I am trying to make, is that the bikers will never have it 100% their way and the drivers will never have it 100% their way, so why not adapt to the changing circumstances and deal with it?

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id04sp 6 years, 1 month ago

The fact that nobody has been killed on a bike around here is by the Grace of God. All those behaviors such as drinking, texting, etc., are the precise reasons why a reasonable person doesn't take a bike out on a "speedy" public roadway.

In other parts of the country, people do things like run a person over in a parking lot, and drive away, and never get caught. Sooner or later, one of those people is going to show up in Routt County and we won't know anything about it until a cyclist is found dead on the side of the road.

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forreal 6 years, 1 month ago

like i said, i wouldn't want anyone to be hurt or killed ever, and if there's ever a bill to build a reasonable bike path that will work for people, i'd vote yes on it. but please be reasonable. just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it won't. please, people, use some simple common sense. and please don't wear those gay tight clothes. they make you look like a freak.

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surelysurly 6 years, 1 month ago

forreal - are you for real? Some of your comments seem so reasonable and adult, and then you feel compelled to insert a flame. I guess if that is how if works, then I can regress to high school - "please, don't use your gay keyboard - it makes you sound like a freak - especially if you're a granola crunching moron behind a computer screen." I'm also curious about your points scale - what are kids walking to school worth? Your neighbor's dog? Tourists? Equestrians? Ranchers tractors? Motorcyclists? Wildlife? Construction equipment? etc..... It's funny how these comments can cause people to think you are an ................

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BoatMaster 6 years, 1 month ago

forreal

You can count on me. Baggie shorts all the time.

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Tammie Delaney 6 years, 1 month ago

As Strawberry Park was my childhood home, I'll attest that this road is a gem in our community for ALL types of road users. HORSE, BIKE, PEDESTRIAN or vehicle. Strawberry Park road/RCR 36 lets our community access the 'countryside' within a couple of minutes and still is a place that's relatively safe for riding bikes with kids, riding your horse within close proximity to town or going for a quiet walk.

Part of the narrow lane striping aspect WAS to intentionally slow traffic speed due to the heavy multi-use aspect. It's not just bikers, folks, walkers, equestrians and more use this as a quick loop in and out of town.

Speed of vehicles has always been an issue on this road due to the multi-use aspect. Yes, even when it was dirt and before the intersection of Amethyst & 36. The more that can be done to encourage this extraordinary route be recognized as a multi-use road rather than a highway the better and thanks Diane Mitsch-Bush for recognizing that this is one of those 'special places' where we can still ride our horse, bike or take a walk just moments from town!

It's places like Strawberry Park, that let us still feel like open spaces and countryside are still part of Steamboat's heritage.

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surelysurly 6 years, 1 month ago

I was going to respond, and I think your words speak for themselves about the type of person you are and how open minded you are (4 stereotype/generalizations in your post), so having a logical debate with you on this (or any) topic is a waste... I guess it isn't common sense to not stereotype people, since you are an authority on common sense

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steamboatshoulderbait 6 years, 1 month ago

forreal- Judging by your comments it's obvious you are a bitter and conflicted person. You need to drop the notion that it's always the cyclists that are in the wrong. Every time I drive 129 or 131 i have to shake my head at the drivers. Without fail, I get passed on the double yellow, passed on a tight corner, or passed going over a hill with little or no chance of seeing what's coming. The speed limit is 45 and I still get passed like I'm standing still. These drivers roll the dice with everybody's lives. What gives??? The bike has nothing to do with it. They are a lot like cars- any jackhole can get one. The problem is the self entitled attitude a lot of people in this county have. Just because you own a car and pay taxes doesn't mean the granola crunching, rug munching moron in tight clothing doesn't. I know a lot of cyclist in town and I can't think of one off the top of my head who doesn't own a car. Most of us pay just as much to use the roads as "people" like you, we just have a lot less impact. Maybe you should channel some of your hate/ bile into something a little more positive. Get involved with local government. Make your voice heard in a forum where it might do some good for all of us instead of hiding in your den in front of your computer with blinds drawn.

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steamboatyahoo 6 years, 1 month ago

while we're at it let's license the pedestrians too and tax the hell out of them since we wouldn't need to pay for sidewalks if it wasn't for them. man I hate pedestrians almost as much as bikers. Can't stand it much longer.

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nxoby36 6 years, 1 month ago

Every auto has to be licensed and the owner pays a tax to maintain the roads, every operator of an auto has to pass an exam to obtain a driver license . It is about time to license and tax the bicycle and require the riders to pass an exam to obtain a license complete with a point system where by the right to operate a bicycle upon our road system could be revoked ( not very many of the riders in this county seem to know nor obey the rules of the road and it is about time given the amount of bicycles there are that they be treated in an equal manner that all other users of the road are ) . Once this is done the police , sheriff and state patrol officers will be able to enforce the law by issuing tickets to the riders who endanger themselves and all others operating vehicles upon our road system . Only after this is done should bicycle riders have any say in how the roads are marked and maintained . I am tired of trying to avoid being involved in an accident the stupid antics that the bicycle riders in our community do on a daily basis . They seem intent upon causing accidents by running stop signs , traffic lights and the failing to comply with the basic rules of the road . Until they are licensed , taxed and held accountable for their sloppy and unsafe presence upon our road system maybe they ( bicycles and their riders ) need to be relegated to a closed bike path system where they will only be a hazard to other riders and their child like actions .

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Fred Duckels 6 years, 1 month ago

the bikers are okay in my book but they need to keep the monkey on their back. no more guilt trips and the victim role is wearing thin.

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forreal 6 years, 1 month ago

o.k. everyone. i apologize for striking nerves but i just wanted to know how everyone REALLY felt. totally candid. that's the only way to really find out how someone feels because i haven't met many people who will to your face. i'm writing an article and i needed to know how people really feel about things. i'm more on your side than you might think. i apologize for this cherede. i ride a bike as well. just neede true information from true people. please be safe.

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