A city bus makes its way through heavy downtown traffic Friday afternoon. A new yield-to-bus law, set to take effect Tuesday, should help city bus drivers navigate Lincoln Avenue and U.S. Highway 40. The city of Steamboat Springs and law enforcement officials will provide a demonstration of the new law at 1 p.m. Monday at the Stock Bridge Transit Center.

Photo by John F. Russell

A city bus makes its way through heavy downtown traffic Friday afternoon. A new yield-to-bus law, set to take effect Tuesday, should help city bus drivers navigate Lincoln Avenue and U.S. Highway 40. The city of Steamboat Springs and law enforcement officials will provide a demonstration of the new law at 1 p.m. Monday at the Stock Bridge Transit Center.

Yield-to-bus law to take effect

City to provide demonstration Monday of new state measure to help buses

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If you go

What: City of Steamboat Springs' demonstration of the new yield-to-bus law

When: 1 p.m. Monday

Where: Stock Bridge Transit Center, 1505 Lincoln Ave.

Call: Public Works Director Philo Shelton at 871-8204 or Transit Operations Manager Jonathan Flint at 879-3717 for more information

— The city of Steamboat Springs will provide a demonstration Monday of a new state law that will aid city buses trying to re-enter traffic from a bus stop and also change the way traffic flows through Steamboat Springs, particularly downtown.

House Bill 1027 requires drivers to yield to transit buses re-entering traffic from a bus stop when the bus signals its intention and illuminates a yellow "yield" sign on the back of the bus. The law is scheduled to go into effect Tuesday. Current law requires only vehicles entering a roadway, not those already in the roadway, to yield to buses.

Public Works Director Philo Shelton said the Colorado State Patrol will be on hand Monday to help explain how the law works. Steamboat Springs Police Capt. Joel Rae said there has been "mirror slapping" and other accidents in the city between vehicles and city buses re-entering traffic, particularly on Lincoln Avenue in Old Town.

Rae said he has yet to receive a fine schedule for violations, but he assumes it will carry a fine of $15 to $100 and count for two points against a person's license.

"It's not effective to have a bus sitting there at 5 p.m. unable to get back in traffic," Rae said.

Rep. Joe Rice and Sen. Dan Gibbs sponsored the bill on behalf of the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies. The bill was suggested by Shelton, a CASTA board member.

Shelton said traffic studies conducted on Lincoln Avenue last year revealed that a yield-to-bus law could help relieve congestion in downtown Steamboat. Similar laws have been adopted in other states and Europe.

During periods of heavy traffic, Shelton said buses on Lincoln Avenue have difficulty re-entering traffic after pulling over to drop off and pick up passengers at stops. To maintain frequency, the city has added a bus to its main line in recent years, Shelton said.

"When you have your bus route, maintaining the schedule is very important," Shelton said.

Transit Operations Manager Jonathan Flint said the amount of time it takes buses to reenter traffic has been the one factor Steamboat Springs Transit has been unable to account for when determining its routes and schedule.

House Bill 1027 passed unanimously in the Colorado House of Representatives. It passed, 23-12, in the Senate. Gubernatorial hopeful Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, voted against the bill. He did not return a phone message Friday.

At a cost of $2,000 each, the city has installed and wired illuminated yield signs on 13 city buses and four regional buses. The city is "working diligently to get signs on all" buses, according to a city news release.

Comments

StmbtLovr 5 years, 1 month ago

This is good news for helping the transit system maintain their schedules. Now that traffic is REQUIRED to yield, maybe the trainers can/will train bus drivers to park parallel to the curb, and not block traffic flow on Lincoln Ave. with the nose or tail of the bus, while boarding passengers.

In the past, I understand why some drivers would be reluctant to yield to a bus if they have had to sit behind one with the tail blocking a travel lane on Lincoln Ave, while boarding passengers.

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Troy Kuhl 5 years, 1 month ago

What a stupid law, your telling residents of Steamboat if they don't yield to a city bus you will fine them. What about police cars and fire engines, no one pulls over for them, but I guess that doesn't matter, it's just an emergency, someone might be about to die, but the bus can't be late to bring the drunks home. What a joke. If you had good bus drivers the mirror slapping wouldn't happen.

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jk 5 years, 1 month ago

I am fine with the law, but I want to know why it costs 2 grand per bus to screw a light to the back?

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dave reynolds 5 years ago

ski35..i believe the article states its a problem during "high traffic" times not later in the evening when the drunks are going home..you seem angry about this and state if they had better bus drivers this wouldn't happan..drivers in steamboat don't like to yield to traffic merging case in point east bound US 40 by Cook Chevy I've turned into the turning lane turned my signal on to merge and had drivers speed up so I couldn't get in,US 40 west bound by Fart Park same senerio,US 40 east Bound by Holiday Inn and the list goes on..if people wouldn't think they were so special then maybe this law would not have happened..just courious are you one of these drivers who won't yield

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Troy Kuhl 5 years ago

No I'm not, but you as a bus driver think you are special it sounds like. If the bus is 5 min late it's not the end of the world. Buses can wait just like any car that has to merge into traffic, your not special. The reason why people speed up is to get in front of the buses because no one wants to get stuck behind them. Buses are usually trying to take up 2 lanes and don't usually follow the speed limit, they are usually go very slow. Drunks just don't ride at night either.

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dave reynolds 5 years ago

well all righty then..first I do not nor ever have driven for the transit system I have how ever driven for Alpine Taxi...where you got that idea is beyond me...be glad that people who choose to drink ride the bus instead of choosing to put yours,mine and everybody elses life in danger..you seem so knowledgeable about how bus drivers should drive..maybe your missing your calling..i have driven commercial vechiles for over 15 years and have seen it all..so just take a breath breathe in breathe out relax

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Troy Kuhl 5 years ago

If you would read what you wrote on Aug 2 @ 7:40 am everyone who read that would have thought you were a bus driver. Maybe you should smoke some more dope before driving our guest around Steamboat, maybe that's why the taxi drivers in this town can't driver worth a crap! This article and law doesn't have anything to do with drunk driving or riding the bus while drunk. You don't have a clue at all. Go back and read what you have written and you will be confused as well.

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dave reynolds 5 years ago

i guess we're even on accusations i implied you don't yield you implied i smoke dope(far more serious)..you brought drunks in and i quote"buses cann't be late to bring the drunks home".my examples of traffic behavior were from on the job and off the job experiences..i haven't drove for the taxi in 4 or 5 years...so i think the law will help and you don't lets leave it at that..have a terrific day

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Troy Kuhl 5 years ago

You too, I'm sorry for the poor accusations. You too have a good day.

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