George Tolles: Make street crossings safer

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— A good friend of mine, Bob Bear, was killed last week while trying to cross U.S. Highway 40 at the intersection with Pine Grove Road. He was returning from the Yampa River Core Trail that runs along the river past the Botanic Park and the new library.

This is arguably the most dangerous walking crossing in Steamboat Springs. (A close second, of course, would be dodging traffic on Third Street trying to get to the post office.) Bob lived at the Selbe Senior Apartments with his wife, MaLou, and along with his neighbors at the Pine Grove Apartments and rental bikers from Ski Haus, they found the only way to cross U.S. 40 was at the corner in front of the Ski Haus gas station.

Because I regularly walk or bike this same route, I recall the walk signal where Bob was hit turning to the flashing red warning icon after just a few seconds, leaving me stranded on the narrow concrete median strip with traffic speeding by in both directions or turning onto Pine Grove Road inches in front of me.

It indeed is puzzling why so much money and effort has been invested in a pleasant, much-used trail along the Yampa River with no safe way for walkers or bikers to cross U.S. 40 to reach either of the supermarkets or other businesses and residences on the north side of the highway. One can only imagine the chaos that will follow when the post office is moved to the new proposed site across U.S. 40 from Safeway and the two most dangerous foot crossings are merged into one.

George Tolles

Steamboat Springs

Comments

bellyup 4 years, 11 months ago

Do you mean I'm legally allowed to run over jaywalkers?

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Troy Kuhl 4 years, 11 months ago

George you have great arguments, and we all feel bad for Bob Bear, but some common sense needs to be used by all. If your crossing Hwy 40 at Ski Haus and the walk sign turns to don't walk you don't stop on the center median, that's just dumb. Also as far as all the people crossing at 3rd. St. no one ever uses the cross walks at either corner, which means everyone is breaking the law as they J-walk across 3rd. St. Cars are only legally required to stop for pedestrians if they are in a crosswalk. I do agree with you about safer crossings across Hwy. 40.

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Kevin Chapman 4 years, 11 months ago

Actually that is incorrect. You can never legally run over a jaywalker. Don't get me wrong, i am frustrated by folks dodging cars at the post office also. In one of the first articles written about this incident the police officer mentioned that even if they hand would have been red, the pedestrian always has the right of way over a vehicle and vehicles are to yield always to pedestrians in ALL circumstances. Bellyup i am hoping that was sarcasm. Monzaki i hope yours was too.

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