Leslie Perkins: Show courtesy

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Road construction stinks. We all know it. I have been taken aback, however, by the attitude people have had toward it. Recently, I have come back to Steamboat to visit my family and childhood home. I was born and raised here and moved to another mountain town, Durango, about four years ago. Steamboat is not the same town that I used to love to call home.

People have grown bitter and rude. I remember when people would give you the right of way (as the law tells them to) with a grin and a wave. That is one of the reasons I decided to stay in my home state, the courtesy I always felt from others. I still feel this courtesy in Durango, where if I approach a crosswalk, cars stop to let me walk. In fact, I have noticed that this happens in all the other mountain towns I have visited, from Breckenridge to Aspen to Telluride. Steamboat is the only one where this courtesy seems to have disappeared.

I have been making an extra effort here, as well, to use designated crosswalks and watch for traffic due to the current circumstances. I have not felt that reciprocated, though. I think that it is even more important, however, to be extra cautious and extra courteous with all the construction that is going on downtown.

Walking downtown at Third Street and Lincoln Avenue, the intersection was congested. According to the walkway sign on the light post, I had the right of way. Nonetheless, the intersection was congested so traffic wasn’t really moving anyway. A driver, however, felt that he needed to take up the extra 2 feet of the crosswalk instead of giving me my legal right of way, even though he wasn’t going to get any farther with those 2 feet. On top of it, he thought it was appropriate to yell at me for crossing the street. Last time I checked, using my own two feet as a form of transportation was still acceptable, if not more desirable.

That wasn’t the only incident I’ve experienced since I’ve been back here. At a light downtown I saw a truck take a quick left turn with no left-turn arrow right of way, almost hitting my friend and I in the crosswalk and the oncoming traffic. I know that the road construction is an inconvenience, but I don’t think it is an excuse to drive more aggressively. If anything, your aggressive driving is going to cause an accident and delay traffic even more.

We all live in Colorado; we should know that this is what happens during the mud seasons and summer. Also, it’s Steamboat. The town isn’t that large. If you don’t want to deal with traffic, get off your rear and ride your bike down the Yampa River Core Trail. It’ll take you about the same amount of time to get anywhere you would in your car. Plus, you’ll be getting some exercise. If you do continue to drive, however, remember that your aggressive driving is hazardous. Plus, in times like these, it’s courtesy that will get us through much more smoothly.

Leslie Perkins

Durango

Comments

dave reynolds 4 years, 7 months ago

whats wrong beenthere truth hurt? shes right I see it everyday

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exduffer 4 years, 7 months ago

Stuff it BTDT, she is right. Spend a couple of days around Soda Creek elementary/Laurel Street pre-school area and see what some of our residents are like. This has not happened just because of the construction on Lincoln it has been get worse since the late 90's. People used to drive the speed limit or slower, maybe seeing someone they hadn't in a while, they would wave and maybe pull over and chat for a few minutes. Now they just talk on their cell phones and say "hey, I have a free half hour lets meet across town for coffee so we can get amped up and drive really fast back across town".

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TWill 4 years, 7 months ago

Aw schucks... why can't we just all pull over and stop for a chat in the middle of Lincoln (aka US Hwy 40)? Throw away that gol' dang cell phone- what good are them there things for anyway?

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Tamera Manzanares 4 years, 7 months ago

I might point out that Durango and Telluride (not sure about Aspen, haven't been there in awhile) do not have U.S. highways running through their old town areas. That said, we would all do better to chill out, construction or not. When Blackmere Dr. was closed, those of us living in Fairview had a nice reprieve from people driving way too fast through our neighborhood on their way to their daily workout on Emerald. Let's all fight the urge to be rude, distracted, apathetic, etc. especially in residential areas. It feels better to do the right thing.

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Tracy Barnett 4 years, 7 months ago

I agree with Leslie. Those extra 2 seconds are not going to make a difference in the long run. If you are already running the traditional 10 minutes late (Steamboat time), shame on you. 2 seconds or 2 minutes won't make a difference in the long run, especiallly if your rudeness causes an accident. Then you really WILL be late. Chill!!!

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bandmama 4 years, 7 months ago

It is called respect. It takes but a minute to wave someone into traffic and smile.

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