Bypass supporters uniting

Group hopes to consolidate plan for moving forward


If you go

What: A meeting for supporters of a downtown bypass road in Steamboat Springs

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave.

Call: Fred Duckels at 879-6072 or e-mail

— Tired of the idea of a Steamboat Springs bypass road being kicked around for decades without action, a group of bypass supporters is gathering next week to consolidate efforts and formulate a plan for moving forward.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. Fred Duckels of Duckels Construction is leading the charge. Duckels sends heavy equipment through downtown Steamboat on U.S. Highway 40 on a regular basis, but he said Steamboat's traffic problems are far more than an industry concern.

"It hurts a lot of people, not just construction," Duckels said. "I talk to a lot of people around town who are tired of it. : I liken Lincoln Avenue to a five-gallon bucket. You can only pour five gallons into a five-gallon bucket. We need another bucket."

Duckels thinks special interests have suppressed calls for a bypass throughout the years.

"I've been after it for 20 years," he said. "I've watched other people trying be helpful and suggesting something. : When I attend the meetings and have something to say, I'm surrounded by agenda-driven people. We need to organize to have a voice."

Duckels has reached out to other bypass supporters, including John Fielding, a Steamboat resident who has proposed a bypass behind Howelsen Hill on Emerald Mountain. Fielding said there is an urgency to move quickly on any bypass proposal.

"The physical opportunities continue to disappear," Fielding said. "The pace of development is such that it's becoming more and more difficult to do it at a reasonable cost."

Duckels agreed.

"With all that's going on," he said, "if we don't throw our hat in the ring, it may be too late."

Variety of ideas

Fielding spoke at Tuesday night's Steamboat Springs City Council meeting during a discussion of 2009-10 improvements to U.S. 40 through downtown, where the road is known as Lincoln Avenue. The discussion brought many varied and candid suggestions. In his comments, Fielding said the difficult decisions being considered revealed the folly of trying to make a federal highway also serve as a pedestrian-friendly Main Street.

"A bypass of some type is going to be the best solution to traffic situations downtown," Fielding said.

There has been little indication of change to the lack of political will that has thwarted bypass supporters for decades. Fielding was the only person who mentioned the idea at Tuesday night's meeting. Nonetheless, Fielding said he is encouraged by the variety of options that were discussed, from the construction of parking garages to the addition of bike lanes.

"When you hear some of the suggestions being made," Fielding said, "it's clear that people are really ready to start thinking differently about this."


portagetheyampa 8 years, 10 months ago

As Fred stated, a solution is long overdue. There has been far too much traffic on Lincoln for more than 10 years.

Thanks Fred, and others for taking this on. I only hope you get somewhere!


shadow 8 years, 10 months ago

Here's the route: stock road to the Depot crossing, bore through Howelson, exit on the other side of Tree House, pick up River Road to the Haymaker turnoff, take 131 to 40 by Haymaker.

Give Fred some dyno-mite and rights to sell the gravel, plug your ears and stand back.


424now 8 years, 10 months ago

We all need to speak out about this, Let every know you support the bypass! Tell your freinds and family! Tell the city council!

Following is the link to the City Council e-mail page! Use it!


sickofitall 8 years, 10 months ago

We really do not need this.... Also, Duckels can not handle the job, it is too big for their britches...


katrinkakelly 8 years, 10 months ago



steamvent 8 years, 10 months ago

Well, Mr. Duckels, now you are apparently one of those "agenda driven people," and you will find that success with any huge undertaking which requires significant public investment also requires, not just frustration with the status quo, but incredible passion to see your effort through. You do at least have a reasonable and more attainable suggestion of a bypass which stays on the flat and off of the high ground.

If there is no money to even repair our County roads and if Steamboat voters do not support a new road improvement revenue stream, good luck finding the money to even do a "study," which has become so vital to social change around here.


Lazy_H 8 years, 10 months ago

Good for Fred Duckels and Mr. Fielding! We have all seen the Lincoln Ave traffic situation evolve over the last thirty years and it continues to get worse. Even if development stopped today, the problems with traffic / pedestrian access will continue to worsen. A bypass is desperately needed. The city council and county commissioners should unite with state and federal legislators and CDOT to get this project moving.

Thanks to Mr. Duckels and Mr. Fielding for speaking out. I hope that those of us that recognize the problems will at the very least attend the meeting and join efforts to find a solution, and SOON!


thecondoguy1 8 years, 10 months ago

Twenty mile road folks, Twenty mile road = bye bye racket, bye bye soot, bye bye dust, bye bye danger, bye bye blight, bye bye big construction boondogle, hello cheap efficient alternative to commercial vehicles coming thru Steamboat.................


ColoradoNative 8 years, 10 months ago

Portagetheyampa. Unless you don't live in the Yampa Valley you should be taking this on also.

There are 10,000 or more residents in Steamboat who need to be involved. People from Hayden, Craig, Oak Creek need to be involved. This isn't Fred's project but it appears he's acting as the catalyst.

Now is the time.


meethinks 8 years, 10 months ago

just a question, exactly why do the city busses HAVE to stop on Lincoln? It is a super service, but why cant there be less stops on MAIN STREET, and have the pick ups on either Yampa or Oak with maybe only one at either side of town to lesson the congestion, how many of us have been driving along and been run into another lane of traffic by the busses stopping or pulling into traffic? I do realize that they have a minimum of so many feet to keep from the curbs, but think about it, why not also have a maximum trunk lengh or something on Lincoln? over so many feet, you gotta go around. OR think also of this, WHEN the construction is done, there will be more parking spaces available on the side streets currently unused do to the construction.


ybul 8 years, 10 months ago

One Way Oak and Yampa Streets (with diagnol parking), close Lincoln to traffic to any traffic entering from the east or west with a pedestrian area, keep it open in the heart of town with only two lanes & diagonal parking (increasing the parking spaces available downtown).

Or remove the ball fields at Howelson move them elsewhere, with a couple more for any events that might want to use them and have the bypass there, buying out home owners over there. A much more expensive proposition,

One option should be undertaken prior to CDOT paving... as it would be beneficial to do so in conjunction with that process.

A study is only going to waste time and money, one way 40 through town is the cheapest solution (with syncronized lights and making 40 4 lanes to the west also !!!fixing the light at 7 eleven!!!, River road is more expensive as more peoples lives are disturbed. and tunneling just seems like it is out of the question financially (signs for the truckers to avoid town all together seems like a wise idea and cheap though it probably will not reduce that much traffic).


spukomy 8 years, 10 months ago

Need it, need it, need it.

Question to the downtown business owners; How many tourists, annually, will miss lunch or a t-shirt because of a bypass? Answer; only those who didn't see the sign.


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