Tuesday, September 1, 2009
If you go
What: Meeting to discuss safety issues on U.S. Highway 40 near Steamboat Golf Club
When: 5:15 p.m. today
Where: Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave.
Call: Routt County Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush at 870-5220 for more information
Steamboat Springs A state senator, a county commissioner and a Colorado Department of Transportation official will meet with concerned residents today to discuss a dangerous section of U.S. Highway 40 where a local woman died this summer.
Lorna Lou Farrow, co-owner of Farrow Repair Service west of Steamboat Springs, died July 28 after she was struck by a dump truck while checking her mailbox on U.S. Highway 40. The accident occurred in front of the repair shop near mile marker 127 on U.S. 40. The highway makes an S-curve in the area, which also includes accesses to the Steamboat Golf Club, Riverbend Cabins and a number of residences.
Residents have described the road segment as a recipe for disaster and said they have fought for years to see changes made that would increase safety in the area. The stretch of highway is an acceleration zone where the speed limit increases from 55 mph to 65 mph in about a mile.
"This has been an issue for many, many years," Paula Stephenson, one of several residents requesting changes, wrote in an e-mail to Routt County Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush. "It is also one that has been brought to the attention of the county commissioners and CDOT for many, many years. This time, we hope our concerns do not fall on deaf ears."
Stephenson and her husband Reed Stephenson operate Riverbend Cabins. Mitsch Bush is chairwoman of CDOT's Northwest Transportation Planning Region and helped organize today's meeting.
Acknowledging the state's troubled finances, several residents have suggested simply reducing the speed limit to 50 mph in the area as a minimal-cost alternative.
"Countless times there have been near accidents due to people illegally passing on the right shoulder while others are trying to turn left into the golf course or cabins," Steamboat Golf Course General Manager Wayne Garrison wrote in an e-mail to Mitsch Bush.
State Sen. Al White, R-Hayden, and Melissa Nelson of CDOT are expected to attend Tuesday's meeting in addition to Mitsch Bush and the concerned residents.
According to Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott, a dump truck was traveling west on U.S. 40 on July 28 and struck Farrow, 58, when it swerved to the right to avoid hitting a Jeep that slowed to turn left into the Riverbend Cabins. Monday, Elliott said he is still working on an accident report. No tickets have been issued, and no arrests have been made in conjunction with the fatal accident.