For 20 years, Steamboat resident Rob Douglas was a Washington, D.C. private detective specializing in homicide, political corruption and terrorism. Since 1998, Douglas has been a commentator on local, state and national politics in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Colorado. To reach Rob Douglas, email rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

For 20 years, Steamboat resident Rob Douglas was a Washington, D.C. private detective specializing in homicide, political corruption and terrorism. Since 1998, Douglas has been a commentator on local, state and national politics in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Colorado. To reach Rob Douglas, email rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

Rob Douglas: C.R. 36 becomes Taylor Way

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Katherine Ingalls won two national titles in cross-country skiing at the March 2007 USSA Junior Olympics in Utah. Also an accomplished bicycle racer, Ingalls was struck by a semi-trailer while cycling in June 2007.

Rob Douglas

Rob Douglas' column appears Fridays in the Steamboat Today. He can be reached at rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Douglas here.

A year ago today, mountain biking and cross-country skiing champion Katherine Ingalls sped to a second-place finish in the Women's Expert Division of the Steamboat Springs Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series.

Two days later, Katherine lay bleeding on a Routt County road with a crushed pelvis and fractured leg after being struck by a truck while out riding her bike with her mother.

The accident resulted in two challenges.

Ms. Ingalls, now 17, was challenged to overcome serious injuries in her quest to return to the sports she loves.

The Routt County Board of Commissioners was challenged to increase safety for thousands of residents and visitors who bike on county roads throughout the course of each year.

Ms. Ingalls responded with the heart of a champion. In April, she was awarded the Charles Abernathy Memorial "True Grit" Award by the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. No one doubts Ms. Ingalls' resolve, and everyone is rooting for her as she faces more surgery next month on her leg.

By voting 2-1 this week to reduce the width of the shoulder on Routt County Road 36 through Strawberry Park, the commissioners took a step backward in responding to the challenge of improving safety for bicyclists and other lawful, non-motorized uses of county roads.

Perhaps commissioners Nancy Stahoviak and Doug Monger - commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush voted to maintain the current width - have forgotten what Commissioner Stahoviak said last year in the wake of Ms. Ingalls' accident as reported by the Steamboat Pilot & Today on July 8, 2007.

"Basically, what we do when we've identified a county road that is heavily used (is) we put up additional 'Share the road' signs," Stahoviak said. "That's our way of notifying people that they are going to be on a road with a variety of mixed users. We as Routt County commissioners will do what we can to improve the safety of some of our roads, recognizing that there will be some roads we can't do that for. The bottom line is that we have to share the road. That's the reality in Routt County."

In light of those statements from a year ago about the import of sharing, it is reasonable for voters to ask a series of questions about this week's decision by the board to change C.R. 36 at the request of one individual.

Why did commissioners Stahoviak and Monger decrease the shoulder width of one of the most popular biking, walking, running and horseback riding roads in the county, thereby reducing the safety buffer the shoulder provides for those mixed users?

Why did they turn down the Strawberry Park Group - a grass-roots organization of homeowners along C.R. 36 - who offered to help finance 'Share the Road' signs in exchange for maintaining the safer, wider shoulder?

Why did they turn down more than a dozen constituents who favored the current road configuration while favoring one politically influential constituent who requested the change?

Did the arguments of the politically influential constituent - Geneva Taylor, wife of state Sen. Jack Taylor - outweigh the common sense expressed by more than a dozen of her neighbors?

Did the reasoning of Mrs. Taylor who stated in part, "I don't want (bicyclists) to ruin my day because they're in my way when they shouldn't be" prevail against those seeking to share the road more equitably by providing signs in precisely the manner the commissioners endorsed a year ago?

Did the desires of Mrs. Taylor disproportionately tilt the normally balanced decision-making of commissioners Stahoviak and Monger because of her family's political influence?

Count me among those concerned that the answer to the last three questions may be "yes." And, should that be the case, let me propose we rename C.R. 36 through Strawberry Park. After all, it's common to pay tribute to the politically powerful by naming roads in their honor.

Taylor Way has a nice ring to it.

Hopefully, my thought that the desires of the politically powerful are attended to above those of others is wrong in this case.

Perhaps Mrs. Taylor and two of our commissioners simply acted too hastily and made a mistake.

If so, the good news is the decision is not written in stone.

It's not too late for the commissioners to correct this wrong-headed decision and return to the reasonable policy stated last summer by increasing signage on C.R. 36 while maintaining the currently safe shoulder.

And, it's also not too late for Mrs. Taylor to hear the voices of her neighbors and reconsider her request so that everyone can once again share the road.

Rob Douglas can be reached at Douglas@privacytoday.com

Comments

BoatMaster 6 years, 1 month ago

Great Article.

It is a shame what Geneva Taylor did for her self centered concerns.

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scooter 6 years, 1 month ago

Welcome to the "Old Boy's (and Girls) Club" Rob. Why don't you see if you can get this on the November ballot too.

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id04sp 6 years, 1 month ago

Nordic,

The lapses in judgment include:

Riding a bike on CR-129 at that particular spot;

Riding a bike on CR-129 at all;

Not getting the bike off the road the instant she noticed the 18-wheeler approaching.

The only "accident" was the unfortunate occurrence of a patch of gravel at exactly the right place at the right time.

Thinking that everything will be okay right up to the last second is the biggest error in judgment. People who take risks for a living and do it for a long period of time without getting killed (military pilots, maybe NASCAR drivers, sometimes cops) avoid injury by thinking two or three steps ahead. In the instance we're debating, there were at least two dangerous options chosen which led up to an encounter with unpredictable conditions -- the truck and the gravel. Both could have been avoided by getting the bike off that road at that dangerous spot, or by not biking on CR-129 at all.

Your handle implies that you are a Nordic skier, and so take a particular kind of risk for fun. You take a CONTROLLED risk in which it's only YOU and a mountain full of immovable objects below you that provide a hazard. If the trees could move around, or if you might encounter a snow cat coming up the ramp as you're coming down, it would be a lot different.

I was born a risk-taker, and I don't believe in sitting at home watching other people do thrilling things on TV. At the same time, I survived a couple of incidents by pure luck, and my skill in the moments after the disaster saved my life. I now have the experience to understand the true risks instead of just assuming "it won't happen to me." I would really enjoy biking on CR-129 north of Clark, but I've seen the traffic up there enough to know that some yo-yo pulling a fifth-wheel trying to get to the campground, or leaving the campground and trying to go south, will be going too fast to stop if they come up behind a bike with another vehicle blocking the opposite lane so they can't swerve. It's a matter of energy (one-half mass times velocity squared) and braking efficiency and friction between the tires and the road, and sometimes they just can't stop in time, no matter how much they'd like to be able to do it.

Oh, and add the factor that MOST of them have had two beers and are betting they'll be below .05 if anything happens . . .

Miss Ingalls' skill and confidence gave her a false set of expectations, and her physical immaturity (her brain won't finish developing until she's about 25) contributed to her misunderstanding of the potential risks. That's why I blamed her parent for the accident back then, and still do today; lack of supervision is the reason she got hurt.

In the final analysis, the cause of her accident was not foreseen, but the risk was there and was apparent. She took an unnecessary risk and the laws of physics and probability caught up with her.

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colobob 6 years, 1 month ago

In the wake of economic uncertainty and the cities dependency on tourist dollars one has to wonder what these commisioners are thinking. Rising gas prices, along with the potential loss of revenue from the reduced numbers of summer tourists as a result of those prices makes this a foolish venture. Even more important than the possible loss of revenue is the matter of safety for those who share the road with motorized traffic. Joggers, bikers, horseback riders, ect., will now be at increased risk due to this change. My outdoor pursuits pertain to the woods & waters so this change will have little effect on me recreationally. Still I would argue that all should be able to share the road as it is now and the only change necessary is one of strict enforcement for ALL users. Posting a few signs and citing those in violation of the law be they biker or motorist, resident or tourist is a more logical approach to the problem. Motorists need to slow down and obey the speed limit, users of the shoulder need to follow the laws regulating their activities as well and use courtesy and common sense. It just doesn't seem that there should be such a wide devide from a city that promotes itself to the world and relies on tourist dollars to stay afloat. Kudos to dissenting commisioner Diane Bush for not voting in favor such a hasty & rash solution to the apparent lack of regulation and enforcement. No comment as to the politics of this issue other than this: Politics really is a dirty business!

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bluntman 6 years, 1 month ago

how utterly ironic that the city of Steamboat Springs was just awarded a $4k grant under the "Share the Road" campaign. i sincerely hope that some of the funds will be set aside for "sensitivity training" so that the county commissioners may gain a better perspective on the subtle nuances and complexities of this issue.

until then, it's

INTO THE GUTTER, LITTLE PEOPLE... MAKE WAY FOR HER ROYAL HIGHNESS LADY TAYLOR'S CARRIAGE, SHE'S COMIN' THRU...

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cara marrs 6 years, 1 month ago

Well said! Even those of us that prefer trails do use this road to access some of Routt counties popular run/bike trails. The commissioners should listen to the majority, not a small out of touch minority. Hopefully Katie's story will bring some new light to this topic.

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id04sp 6 years, 1 month ago

I'm going to rush right out and paint double yellow lines on both sides of my vehicles so that everyone else will be magically prohibited from crossing them and hitting me.

IT'S ONLY PAINT! It provides no protection for anyone.

The only thing a wider bike lane will do is give cyclists a false sense of security.

How about this one instead; reduce the speed limit to 30 and allow compact, street-legal electric vehicles to use the road. People who need to travel faster than that can leave home earlier.

The reason Miss Ingalls was injured was that she made a poor decision to be out on a dangerous portion of CR-129 when a big truck came by, and she didn't bail out to save herself. That was a case of adolescent misjudgment, and the fact he has suffered so much is the fault of a community that is in denial over the obvious hazards of biking on a narrow road where just about EVERYBODY speeds.

It's pretty amazing that, in a community where the County Commission wasted $18,000,000 of taxpayer money to build a facility to house STATE employees (the new injustice center) they can't figure out a way to have better traffic enforcement and speed control on these narrow, dangerous roads. We'd have the money for more cops, or traffic cameras, or a combination of both, if we hadn't spent it on a project that, by state law, must be state funded unless the county volunteers to build it.

And before you blast ME for criticizing Miss Ingalls, I will confess that I have been climbing ladders for almost a half century, and never got hurt until two weeks ago. I leaned a ladder on a wall that was not braced, and the ladder slipped, and I fell. It was dumb. No matter how good you are at something, and how long you've been doing it, a lapse in judgment can result in the worst injury of your entire life. I learned to be more careful in the future -- which will be about six weeks from now according to my orthopedist. It was my fault. I won't do anything so stupid again.

So, is it necessary for each of you to fall off a ladder, or could you learn from my experience? I'm sure Miss Ingalls would prefer that you learn from her mistake instead of daring fate until it happens to you, too. Blaming a trucker for an avoidable accident won't make the bones heal any faster.

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justathought 6 years, 1 month ago

I know how to improve safety for bicyclists 100%, in stead of share the road signs, use the same kind of sign the interstate highways use, NO BICYCLES.

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surelysurly 6 years, 1 month ago

Wow, that is brilliant. We should legislate that the only form of transportation allowed is a car! No one should be allowed to go anywhere unless they drive, regardless of distance - especially with high gas prices, environmental concerns, and overall increase in obesity in this country, this is definately the solution.
Also, for consistency and equity on your signs, they should include (but not be limited to): CARS ONLY: NO BICYLES, NO WALKING, NO RUNNING, NO HORSES, NO MOTORCYCLES, NO FARM EQUIPMENT, ETC...

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 1 month ago

Either way, it just means Geneva Taylor will have to swerve completely into the other lane, now, when bikes are on the road. Hope that doesn't ruin her day moreso than extending the shoulders. Cyclists will still ride the county road, so what did this get her?

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ssnative38 6 years, 1 month ago

Speeding is defined as going faster than the POSTED limit. People speed because the speed limits are set to arbitrary standards that disagree with the average preson's perception of the right speed for a particucular piece of road. Having ridden a bike at one time I can say that it is possible to ride on just the 4 inch wide white line at the edge of the road. One has to pay about the same amount of attention to riding as the driver of a car must pay to staying in one's lane on a curvy two lane. Cars and bike can coexist if two things happen. the bikes stay single file on or to the right of the white line and car drivers will use common sense and pay attention to what and who is on the road in front of and beside them, their speed not withstanding. Hang up and drive, folks.

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Will Wiggins 6 years, 1 month ago

9 foot was an error. Roads should be 11, if not 12 foot wide. End of story. Bottom line. I have moved on and I bike that road as much as anyone.

Political corruption at play?? You people watch way too much TV.

Rob, I am sorry to see the credibility of your articles take a turn for the worse. As someone who could not attend the meeting, I read nothing from your article which made mention of the other side's position. Intead you chose a provocative approach to question the integrity of our community servants. Shame on you.

"... so that everyone can once again share the road." Are you kidding me? They have FOUR FEET, Rob. That is a half foot less than the current allotted amount for a family van! How much room do you need to ride single file?

The issues at play here have nothing to do with Stahoviak and Monger versus Mitch-Busch. The issues at play here have nothing to do with a Senator's wife or how her perfectly pampered day is disturbed.

Monger said it best, "People need to be held accountable." Albeit drivers and speeding or bicyclist and riding single-file. It doesn't take an officer on the side of the road to make it a better place. It takes personal responsiblity and consideration for our brothers and sisters. When that day comes, the fog will clear.

Stop the soap opera. It's just paint.

Bikers, please don't ride three abreast. Rest assured, I will slow down for you either way.

Love thy neighbor.

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SilverSpoon 6 years, 1 month ago

I am going to put a bilboard up in denver on I-70. "2 turns and three hours, leave your bike at home!"

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rsssco 6 years, 1 month ago

dawiglet Where is the mention of corruption? I see what can be read as political favoritism, but I don't see any mention of corruption. There's a big difference between the two.

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nordic85 6 years, 1 month ago

well, id04sp you are talking about things you know absolutely nothing about. If you had perhaps taken the time to talk to Ms. Ingalls and had gotten the whole story, then you might have a some legislation to comment in the manner that you did. However, you haven't, you don't know anything about the story except that which the steamboat pilot told you without any permission to publish the story from Ms. Ingalls'. Also, the accident had nothing to do with a "lapse in judgement." It didn't happen because she "chose" not to bail, it happened because she COULDN'T bail. So before you start criticizing anything, make sure you get your facts straight.

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colowoodsman 6 years, 1 month ago

Once again the Pilot's chief navigator and moral compass, RqDq (not to be confused with it's predessor R2D2) has lost it's way. The commissioners HAVE done the right thing to promote safety on CR36. Decreasing the shoulder width encourages cyclists to ride single file and gives more room for motorists to pass cyclists without having to cross into oncoming traffic. It is clear that the programmers have made little progress improving the RD series and that the entire experiment should be scrapped.

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surelysurly 6 years, 1 month ago

I am becoming convinced that id has no soul. Willing to keep dragging a teenager and those that care about her through the dirt so that his/her ego can "win" the argument in fantasy blog world. Awesome. Is there a way to uninvent blogs and have people actually talk to each other face to face?

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rsssco 6 years, 1 month ago

What's really sad is that id represented his country as a military helicopter pilot. With just a tad of research on this forum and Google you can easily find photographs and other documents concerning id. His pathetic writings here reflect poorly on his fellow military vets. And you are correct surelysurly--the man has no soul.
He should spend more time on one of his favorite hobbies looking for life in outer space with his SETI friends, cause he sure isn't bettering life here on earth.

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slow_rider 6 years, 1 month ago

County Commisioners: In November this may come back to haunt you. Many in this community wish to see a more bicycle friendly community. You are not listening to the people who vote for you and this will make a difference come election day. Obviously, at this stage that is all we can say as on Friday you reaffirmed your decision to "stripe and be dammed".

People round here like to think that they can be treated fairly. We have been denied due process on this issue and your suggestion that we need to work on Bicycle Friendly poilicies (in the fall - or maybe after the election ...ha ha) highlights that you have no vision of how we may improve our community that I am interested in.

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roadhard 6 years ago

the 9 foot lanes were not an error. the edge line that created the 14 foot lanes was the error....

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rsssco 6 years ago

slow_rider Monger and Stahoviak are laughing at you. How can this come back to haunt them in November? Monger and Stahoviak are running unopposed. You can't change something with nothing.

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id04sp 6 years ago

surely and rssco,

The only thing truly apparent from your pitiful posts is that you know nothing at all about how the real military works, particularly the aviation side.

When there is an "incident" (we don't call them "accidents" because they are usually preventable) a board is convened which does everything from go out and pick up the pieces (aircraft and bodies) to interview the spouses of the victims to see if they had a fight the night before the accident, how the marriage was going, whether there were other factors that could have interfered with the pilot's judgment, and even such things as a credit check looking for potential distractors.

The purpose of all this is to address contributing factors with OTHER pilots and their families (yes, the wives get some schooling on such things also) in order to help prevent further loss of life or injuries.

The young woman who was injured by an "incident" with an 18-wheeler on CR-129 cannot be helped in any way, whatsoever, by covering up the story. On the contrary, there may be a couple of parents who will forbid their own children from riding bikes out there, and maybe some pain and suffering can be prevented.

So, I don't really care what you think about me for riding this issue every time it comes up. I've had my real name and my photograph on the front page before, and it was because I survived a crash that killed two other people. It was caused by an improperly manufactured flight control actuator that fell apart in flight, resulting in a loss of control and an unavoidable crash.

I doubt that either of you is old enough to comprehend the spectrum of adult emotions, but I wish you could have seen the look in the eyes of the other pilot's mother when I told her that her son was not responsible for the crash, and could not have done anything to prevent it. She hugged me and went away knowing that SHE had not failed to raise a man who had courage, faith, and uncompromising professionalism right up to the moment of his death. He didn't do anything stupid, or negligent, or dangerous. He was just there when things went wrong. He was there to save the life of someone else if another aircraft got into trouble.

But, back to the point, there may be some parents in denial about the dangers of biking on our local heavily traveled roads who don't want to be the subject of inquiry by the the Pilot or the people who post on this forum, and maybe they will consider their children's safety a little more closely for the CHILD'S SAKE, no matter how the kid feels about it.

Check out this entry from today's "record."

5:49 p.m. A one-vehicle rollover accident was reported near mile marker 8.5 on C.R. 129, where a car went off the road and landed in a nearby field. The driver was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

It's a dangerous road, traveled by dangerous drivers who don't consider the safety of bikers. That's what you should be worried about.

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id04sp 6 years ago

Cleve,

It pi$$ed you off enough to respond, right? You remember what I was harping about, right?

Mission accomplished.

I could have flown jets, and I had the grades for it (which I can prove), but I chose to fly helicopters because there was a chance that I could help another human being in peril instead of spending my whole career practicing to kill somebody if the necessity and the chance arose.

If I was looking for personal glory, folks, don't you think I'd have written a book about it, and put my real name out there for you to admire me when you pass me on the street? I do plenty of good deeds, and they are all done anonymously, because that allows me to find people in need instead of having to fend off people who caused their own problems and want me to bail them out.

I've had my real name dragged in the mud around here, so yeah, I know what it's like. And guess what? Mostly, nobody cares, and that was the biggest lesson of my life.

I can't do anything for the Ingalls girl, and we haven't heard anything from her or her family warning other cyclists to stay off the heavily traveled roads. Maybe if they had come forward with such a warning, I wouldn't find it necessary. Of course, they can't admit any fault, because they are in a position to sue the driver, owner, etc. of the truck that hit her.

Why not blame Mr. Douglas for bringing up the subject? He seems to be the one seeking admiration under his own name, no?

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surelysurly 6 years ago

my point confirmed "Willing to keep dragging a teenager and those that care about her through the dirt so that his/her ego can "win" the argument in fantasy blog world." Let it drop.

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rsssco 6 years ago

nxoby36 If driving has become too difficult for you, feel free to surrender your license and park your vehicles. It is quite obvious from your post that you are unable to manage what thousands of us in Steamboat and hundreds of millions of Americans do every day--drive on roads along with our friends who use bikes. Just admit the world has passed you by nxoby36. That admission will be your first step on the road to your mental recovery.

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id04sp 6 years ago

Learning from another person's mistakes and misfortunes is not being "dragged through the dirt." It's just life.

Why not blame the Pilot for lionizing people who are killed and injured as a result of their own contributory negligence? Somebody ignored safety gear and fell off a roof -- he's a victim. A couple of somebodys danced on an oil tank and got blown up -- they're victims. Somebody started a fire in his apartment -- he's a victim. Etc.

The biggest thing wrong with this town is that it is ALWAYS somebody else's fault, and instead of solving the problems, it becomes a contest to see who feels the worst. The only time anybody around here ever takes personal responsibility for ANYTHING is when they win a medal, or make a profit. Lose a medal, and guess what - - he's a victim, and it's somebody else's fault.

People used to try to take care of each other, but I guess that's out of style. Now it's all about how everybody feels, and nothing more.

There are plenty of people around who share my opinions, but they are afraid to voice them. And that's why this stuff happens. It's a lack of courage, all around, and we are all paying the price for it.

Well, folks, if you would stop doing the drugs, obey the laws, and start paying your taxes, you wouldn't have to be afraid to open your mouth and possibly have somebody notice you. (Psst. It's called "paranoia" and is a side effect of drug use, guilt, and fear of discovery.)

I find it supremely ironic that people will blame Mr. Taylor's wife for creating an "unsafe condition" over a stripe of paint on the road. I'm not a fan of hers or of her husband, but if somebody gets injured while cycling on that road, it will always be mostly the cyclist's fault for taking an unnecessary risk.

What risk? Why, that of being hit by someone without much insurance, and the barest of material possessions, so that no matter how good the case looks on paper, the victim will be injured and left with nothing but a grudge to show for it.

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stmbtprof 6 years ago

This is the first time I have agreed with rob douglas...how dare politicians in such a small area... the Taylors usurp power and flaunt their wealth by whining...republicans please...do not put taylor in office again....perhaps a local shunning by neighbors???

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nxoby36 6 years 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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nxoby36 6 years ago

rssco I wouldn't expect any thing more then some baby like you attacking me . I don't know what your qualifications are but for myself I have competed as a category one racer for a national team in the past , I have ridden cross country more than once here and in several foreign countries . I hold a current license and work as a class A driver and have no trouble driving .
It's too bad your mother didn't teach you any better then sticking out your tongue and calling others names . If you are afraid to take a test and be held responsible for your actions you are only proving your child like nature . Grow Up

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BoatMaster 6 years ago

nxoby36

Your idea I believe is ridiculas.

Do you think all bike riders do not own a auto and pay the tax you mention?? I would guess that about 90% of the bike riders also have a auto.

Therefore bicycle riders do have a say in how the roads are used.

As for you system of allowing the police to ticket bike riders that already exists. Bike riders have to obey the same laws as motorists so if they break the law they can be ticketed. It is the decision of the police officer to ticket or not.

This weekend I saw over 5 autos run red lights. What do you have to say about this?? The police did not ticket them either so don't think bike riders have more infractions and get away with more than car drivers because that is not the case.

You should just learn to share the road and everything will be fine.

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Fred Duckels 6 years ago

Rob,

It would be very nice if you knew what you are talking about. You are talking about life long contributors to our community. In the past this was a very small community. Everyone's character was known by all, good or bad. These people have served decades with honesty and character. This vast right wing conspiracy doesn't hunt.

What we have here is an environmentalist-recreationist lobby bent on taking over our community. In the past our commissioners have caved in to their demands.

Diane, you have appeased them this time but there will be hell to pay if their demands are not met.

We have a no win situation and the terriorists know it.

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colobob 6 years ago

While I have disagreed with more of Robs columns than I have agreed with (especially his views concerning TC) I'll take his side yet once again on this one. This is supposed to be a democracy. What part of a democracy does this look like to you? One person with political pull having their way over the majority of other citizens is not a democracy. As far as the preposterous idea of registering bicyles goes, why not just take it one step further. Why don't we push to have everything and anything with wheels licensed and the users tested prior to licensing? Skateboards, roller blades, that little chrome scooter your 10yr old screams out the end of your driveway on or the big wheel he or she rides on your neighborhood street. How about wheel barrows, strollers, surely some nitwit could get hurt or hurt someone with either of these. I've seen them all on the road. But wait none of the above have motors, engines, or weigh in excess of 3000 lbs. or even leave much of a foot print for that matter. Maybe they should be required to carry sufficient ballast to achieve that 3000lb and above mark to be equal to that of a motor vehicle. But they aren't, and you don't see many strollers, wheelbarrows, bicycles, ect. driving through the side of a house into a crowd of people, or doing 75 in a forty while talking on a cell phone. The reason they don't register bicycles is the same reason that hats don't come with directions. You figure it out. Hey and while were talking about licensing things lets talk about cats. Dogs are licensed primarily to prevent the spead of rabies. Cats get rabies. Lots of people have cats, how many are vaccinated for rabies? Some I'm sure. Statistically speaking Damn few I'll bet. where's the outrage there? With the exception of maybe the cats this all sounds rediculous doesn't it? So is the thought of registering a bicycle. Enforce the laws that are on the books for cyclist and motor vehicle operator alike. Promote tourism by making SB a bike, equistrian, jogger friendly community. Everyone needs to "Learn To Share The rRoad!"

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id04sp 6 years ago

Bob,

The only reason I can think of that would make a person not want his bike registered would be that there was something to lose about having their name and address on file with the government.

For example, there's an ACET bust and your bike is found in the garage, even though you're not there.

You're "off the grid." You are somehow able to exist using all cash, you're being paid off the books, and you don't drive, own a car, or have a license.

Anyone who operates legally in our society, paying taxes, owning a car, driving with a valid license, paying utility bills and all that would have no reason to object to registering a bicycle. Of course, if your bike has been reported stolen by someone else, or if you reported it stolen and made an insurance claim, that's another story.

So, you are entitled to your opinion, but someone like me with a background in skip tracing, background investigation and casualty insurance underwriting can come up with a lot of suspicious reasons for resistance to registration, and I can't think of a single good one except, possibly to avoid paying a license fee.

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colobob 6 years ago

04, There are those that would like to regulate everything in this country and there are those that think that enforcing laws & regulations that are already in place makes more sense. I subscribe to the latter. Maybe the solution you seek should require all to be tattooed with an ID number on their wrists. Sound familiar? With all due respects you sound a little paranoid to me. No insult intended but this is the impression you give me. Not all have something to hide, some enjoy rights supposedly guarenteed by the Constitution. Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness are part of what makes this a great country. As an American and with your service backround you of all people should understand this. As I said before your opinion is noted, mine has been stated as well. Rather than continue a discussion with you that could only digress I'll let it lay as it is. Enjoy the day and this great country we all share.

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id04sp 6 years ago

Bob,

Well, in the first place, we are not a democracy. We are a representative republic. It's that "representative" part that allows us to elect people who then operate the government without taking a general vote of the entire population every time somebody needs to schedule a field trip for the school kids.

We are all supposed to be equal under the law, but in fact, we are not. If the "system" decides you are going to lose, you are going to lose, no matter what the law says. I can prove that one to you.

Uh, what's rediculous about registering bicycles? Have you tried to get on an airplane without a government-issued ID card? It doesn't matter if you have a drivers license or not; you need the government-issued card. And besides, if all bikes were registered and you report yours missing, wouldn't that make it easier to find? I have to register my dog, so why not my bike before I take it on the road? And, for that matter, unlicensed motor vehicles are prohibited on county roads too, so why not register the vehicle and the operator when it's not motorized?

You ought to try riding a bike on a military base. They require helmets, reflectors, vests, and sometimes even whip antennas with orange flags on them in addition to registration in many cases. Generally, base security has to inspect the bike and approve it, whether a sticker is issued or not.

I've done it, and it didn't hurt a bit. What's the big deal? Just cruise on by the PD or RCSO and fill out a form, get a sticker or a placard or an arm band, and you're good to go. Display of a registration plate might even make motorists more aware, and more careful, because it would mean the bike is on the road by virtue of a permit, and imply that the protection of traffic laws applies to bikes as well as cars and trucks.

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colobob 6 years ago

I disagree 04 but your opion is noted

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comtboy 6 years ago

Mr. Douglas,

While the story you illustrate is heart-wrenching it is overly simplistic and a poorly veiled political statement.

Perhaps you should review outside sources prior to stirring up trouble. The Commissioners did (albiet perhaps in some ignorance) act on the behalf of their elected constituents; all of them and in a manner that would be considered appropriate to address the safety of all that use 36 through Strawberry Park. See my post at: http://www.steamboatpilot.com/news/2008/jun/29/doug_monger_and_nancy_stahoviak_restriping_cr_36_s/#comments It does not take much research to see that the original striping was incorrect in the first place based on any engineering/design standards.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years ago

Surly- Death is a constant, no matter how fit you are.

Kneedropper- You're forgetting all the bicycles that will have to pull 50ft. trailer beds or the like. You see, if we all went to bikes, things besides people still need to get from one place to another. Be kinda cool seeing all those WalMart trailers being pulled by 10 bicyclists. Yeah- I can see the same wear and tear.

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id04sp 6 years ago

Bob,

Fair enough. I don't need a tattoo, because I gave my fingerprints willingly a number of times in order to gain access to benefits granted by the government; these include a Navy ROTC scholarship, special access program clearances, and even a liquor license.

I have an ID card that comes along with an index finger biometric requirement. I left the service before they started collecting DNA to identify "unknowns," but again, what's the problem? A tattoo on the arm can be removed. Try doing that with all ten fingers, and your DNA.

Regulation of bicycles as a public safety measure should not cause a problem for a law-abiding person. Neither driving or cycling on public roads are rights granted by the Constitution. If the option was to stay off county roads, or register the bike, then there's an option for those who don't want to register.

Bicyclists use a public asset, receive emergency services from public employees, and derive a benefit from traveling on a paved road (ever tried riding a street bike through the sand over in Moab?). Why shouldn't that use be regulated, just like it is for everything else that uses those roads lawfully, including pedestrians? Each and every one of us is somehow "registered" by the government except the illegals, so I just don't see the problem.

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colobob 6 years ago

The problem ID is that we have opposing viewpoints on the issue and I see nothing wrong with that. You look at things from your perspective and I from mine. I no more expect you to agree with my logic than you should expect me to agree with yours. To borrow a phrase, "it is what it is." For what it's worth, I think you're way off base on this one, no punn intended. Have a good day. Think I'll go wet a line and wave a fly around.

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id04sp 6 years ago

surely,

You forget that pedestrians and cyclists are forbidden on limited access interstate highways. Pedestrian traffic certainly IS regulated by law. How many cyclists do you see on I-70 going through the Eisenhower and Johnson tunnels? I've seen signs requiring cyclists to dismount and walk the bike on the pedestrian sidewalks in certain areas, such as bridges and tunnels.

Jaywalking is unlawful, so that regulates pedestrian traffic on the roads. Same for crosswalks -- pedestrians in the crosswalk have the right of way, but not at other places on the same road.

And, if you happen to be in the country illegally, you're really not entitled to use the roads, either.

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id04sp 6 years ago

Hey, Bob . . .

Have you got a fishing license? How many poles does it allow you to have in your possession at one time? Isn't that like regulating fishing poles . . . . ?

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years ago

Not a fair comment, ID. Each individual car driver only needs 1 driving license...but if they own 2 or more cars, they have to register (and pay taxes) on each separate vehicle, above the cost of a license. Not so for the ownership of a bicycle.

Not sure with a fishing license, but does it regulate that whomever the license is issued to can have 2 or 3 poles in for just themselves? I imagine not, since I thought fishing licenses were only good as long as your weren't caught abusing the rules per area, such as for Catch & Release or maximum catches.

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colobob 6 years ago

ID, I've never tried fishing with two fly rods before at the same time and I'm not sure it could be done successfully. I have enough trouble worrying about backcast and proper line placement with one fly rod let alone two. If memory serves me correctly I could if I wish to pay the additional $5 per rod. I'd have to look it up or you could click on the DOW site and check for yourself. Either way it's quite a stretch comparing a fly rod to a Volkswagon! I believe I have come to the point where I think you just intend on being confrontational. So on this matter OUR discission is over. Have a good day just the same and take a kid fishing!

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id04sp 6 years ago

Kielbasa,

In Colorado, if you want to use a second rod, you have to buy a "second rod" stamp for your fishing license. They don't appear to offer a "third rod" stamp, or anything more than two lines, except there are additional rules that allow trot lines in combination with a rod and reel.

So, yeah, fishing poles are regulated in Colorado. I guess if you need to change rods for any reason, you need to hike back up to the truck . . . or, are you allowed to have more than one rod in your possession without a stamp, even if you're not actually fishing. Can you keep more than two in your garage?

So, if Colorado regulates fishing rods, why not bicycles? There are age requirements for a fishing license, so maybe you wouldn't need a permit for a bike until you're old enough to need a fishing license? That seems fair.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years ago

Actually, I agree: if bikes are going to be more prevalent on roads then there should be no reason why they can't be licensed and tagged each year. Hey- if smokers keep having to be taxed to pay for crap that has nothing to do with smoking, then bikes can too. (And I don't even smoke any longer!)

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surelysurly 6 years ago

To me, the question (as put forward by colobob) is where do you draw the line on licensing and regulation? I see as many people walking on the road as cycling, but there are no proposals for licensing pedestrians. As far as smoking taxes go, those are partially driven by the cost smokers put on our health care system. I feel an argument could be made to PAY cyclists, rather than tax them. Two of the points would be a decreased toll on our healthcare system, and another could be due to reduced wear and tear on the roads. Personally, although I hate the principle behind the idea, I would be willing to register and pay taxes on my bicycle (in addition to my car) if it meant that there were actually shoulders on more than two of the roads in the county. I would like to also point out, that for every cyclist you see; that is one less car to be behind in traffic (i.e. 129 SB @40 around 5pm), one less person spewing Carbon Dioxide and other pollutants into our valley air, one less person buying gas, therefore decreasing demand on gas, therefore decreasing the price.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years ago

Pay cyclists due to lack of healthcare?? LOL! Jim Fixx was pretty damn healthy when he died mighty unexpectedly, right? George Burns smoked cigars all his life...up til 101yrs of age, I believe??

Since highways, roads, etc., get a good amount of revenue from gas taxes, how are bicyclists going to help that one, eh? Everyone on a bike, well then you get the same wear and tear. Bikes only carry one person, 99.9% of the time. Even a 2 seater car fits...2 people. Most cars fit up to 4 comfortably. And yeah- if a person is walking in the middle of the highway, make them get licensed.

do you want the next question to your answer now, or should I wait?

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knee_dropper 6 years ago

The notion that bicycles would put the same wear and tear on a road is ridiculous. How is a 25 lb bike going to chew a road up at the same rate as a 3000 lb car?

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steamboatyahoo 6 years ago

I like the law which was just passed in California today. Illegal to drive with cell phone in hand, which of course studies show is much more dangerous than bike riding on county roads.

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surelysurly 6 years ago

Matt - I was simply trying to make a point. However, I challenge you to prove that there is no evidence that exercise increases someones health, and that smoking has no affect on life expectancy. There are always exceptions out there, and we don't make policy on exceptions. As far as wear on the road goes, knee_dropper addressed that, but simply compare the drive lane wear to the wear on the shoulder. As far as gas taxes go, then the people who drive most or have vehicles with the worst gas mileage contribute the most, so do they have more rights to the road?

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knee_dropper 6 years ago

Who said we all need to only go by bike? I commute by bike for the most part and use a car for trips that involve moving bulky or heavy items. If I wanted to I could get one of those kid trailers to mitigate some of those, but haven't yet. ....So barring teams of bicyclists pulling flatbeds around for some reason (do you envision skid loaders being moved around town like this?), there isn't the same wear and tear.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years ago

Knee- Read my post you responded to in the first place. I specifically said, "Everyone on a bike, well then you get the same wear and tear." Key word- Everyone. If we're going to argue cars over bikes, eliminate one over the other when comparing.

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424now 6 years ago

As far as registration of bicycles is concerned, I am all for it. I have had one to many $500.00+ bikes stolen to complain about the system having serial numbers tying the bike to my name.

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424now 6 years ago

Matt,

"Walmart trailers being pulled by 10 bicyclists"

Your description brings to mind imagery of Egyptian style slaves pulling those trailers. This line of discussion is leading to a "motor law" as alluded to in a song by the rock band Rush.

That is, legislation outlawing all things "internal combustion."

Ahh doesn't walking or riding horses to Denver for you groceries sound like fun.

Wagons Ho!

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knee_dropper 6 years ago

More bikes on the road = less needless one-driver car trips. That equals less wear and tear. Who's arguing that it's all one or the other?

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BoatMaster 6 years ago

I'm going to go ahead and laugh out loud for the comment left by Hadleyburg before they remove it.

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knee_dropper 6 years ago

LOL, I'll put the ad in the freebies. Want to join my stable of riders? The pay is negligible, but the workout is great and here is your chance to ride two-abreast with the protection that only a flatbed trailer can afford. Variable hours, free expired honey stinger, but you can take pride in being on knee's "team" of riders.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years ago

Knee- Who's arguing that it's all one or the other? Well, I am. That's why is said, (again) "Everyone..." If all bikes were never on the road, it would make no difference in the road status quo. Get rid of all the cars (motor vehicles in general) and there goes a good portion of all road maintenance funds. That was the whole point of my post since bikes DON'T pay for the road upkeep by default of owning a bike. Owning a car, as long as you keep it licensed & gassed up regularly...does. Plus, wear & tear on roads is also due to weather, natural disaster, age...what happens then?

As for more bikes on the road for needless one-driver car trips: who said they're needless? Maybe that's your opinion, but your opinion doesn't automatically make it so. Some people use their vehicles for work, also. Ever tried hauling laundry from a condo on your 10 speed with all your cleaning supplies? Yeah- maybe Moots will start making a line of rickshaws or pedi-cabs.

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424now 6 years ago

Nice imagery today Matt,

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&rls=com.microsoft:*:IE-Address&rlz=1I7GGLR&q=image+rickshaw&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&resnum=1&ct=title

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knee_dropper 6 years ago

Federal gas taxes between Memorial day and Labor day may go on "holiday" if our friend McCain is elected. Who pays for the lost income then? As far as vehicle registration goes, I own a vehicle and pay to have it registered every year. I just don't drive it that much; like I said in a post above, sometimes it's necessary to move bulky or heavy items that I can't do on a bike. Unfortunately I can't afford to hire a team of bicyclists to haul a trailer around for me yet...

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years ago

Knee- Tell'em it's good exercise & will help save the planet; that should be a better reward than payment.

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colobob 6 years ago

No.................., it's Beggin' Strips!"

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id04sp 6 years ago

This is really a crazy discussion.

It reminds me of my belief, when I was a small child, that the water that came out of the faucets in the house was produced by some kind of machine that lived under the house. I knew the sewage sent into a septic tank in the yard, so that was not such a mystery.

So, anyway, the idea that our water came out of a river and was sent to a treatment plant and then piped out to all of the houses all over town was mind-boggling. The idea of "infrastructure" that makes our civilization possible is at the core of this whole debate.

Bikes are great for the things they can do, but they are very limited. Roads exist for the purpose of vehicular travel, and trade and commercial activity is the reason for having roads that are year-round passable by vehicles that carry products to market. Think about it. If farmers had to carry everything to town on horses, instead of in wagons, we'd have never evolved a network of roadways -- it would all be trails suitable for horses and, maybe, mountain bikes.

None of the homes served by the local roads would exist if the material to build them had to be brought in on bicycles. The benefit to cyclists is, at most, tertiary to any other benefit provided by paved county roads.

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424now 6 years ago

I am a clean air proponent!

Bikes are great for the things they can do! It may only be one thing but that one thing is a doesy!

Cut down on exhaust fumes.

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id04sp 6 years ago

Doozie. Short slang for, "Duesenberg." Duesenberg was the name of a car manufacturer which produced high-quality American automobiles between 1913 and 1937.

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chickadee 3 years, 5 months ago

I suggest that instead of calling it "Taylor Way" the County Commissioners put up a big sign that says "Make Way for Stahoviak!"

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