Rowena Decker: Observe the rules

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— Recently I visited your town, as I have many times in the past 10-plus years. I am quite shocked at the liberties being taken by cyclists and pedestrians, especially in town. Whoever painted the biking signage on the roads needs a bit more direction. The signage is far out into the traffic lane, which allows cyclists to not practice common courtesy or the “rules of the road.”

It was raining very hard one of the days I was there and a kid rode out in the middle of my lane from one of the side streets. He is fortunate that I was driving very slowly and was able to stop. Or maybe I should say I am fortunate because I understand your law enforcement is erring on the side of cyclists. I live in a state where cycling is very popular; the signage painted on the pavement is on the edge of the lane, as it should be, and cyclists religiously observe the rules of the road.

You have pedestrian crosswalks, but they, too, are being ignored — people are darting out between cars in the middle of the street.

I invite you to stand back and take a look at these observances and correct these inadequacies. I invite your law enforcement to start observing and enforcing the rules that apply to cyclists and pedestrians. It may just save someone’s life.

Rowena Decker

Essex Junction, Vt.

Comments

bandmama 3 years, 4 months ago

Rowena, Thanks for the letter! Many locals would like to see improvements in enforcing rules as well. And, yes someone is going to be hurt if it is not done. On the other hand you can cruise down Yampa and pretend it is a video game of sorts. You never know what or where someone/something is going to come out of no where. I haven't decided yet if it has made me more aware of my suroundings or simply paranoid to the point of stopping dead still because I saw movement between the parked cars.......

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sledneck 3 years, 4 months ago

I pulled out into the street last week from Ski-Haus and some kids were riding down the sidewalk on their bikes. I guess they did not like that I cut them off getting from the parking lot out into the street. One of them gave me the "whole-hand" flip off and yelled "hay" in a disgruntled tone. It was VERY, very funny. Little bike-nazis wearing their entitlement mentality on their little shoulders. Aawwww...

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CONative 3 years, 4 months ago

Good (and true) comments, Rowena. The worst area is on third street by the post office... Pedestrians darting out from behind parked cars, drivers making turn lanes where there aren't any. It's just a matter of time before there's a serious accident. I've seen policemen watch these violations and drive away as if nothing had happened. Why is no one ever ticketed there?

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bandmama 3 years, 4 months ago

I am really so in favor of anything that brings tourist dollars to Steamboat. Bike town USA? Ski town USA? FLY STEAMBOAT??? YES. It is our bread and butter. But in order to maintain those dollars, something needs to done to make it SAFE. I really dont mind slowing down to 4mph on Yampa when needed. After all I AM a local and "Steamboat Time" while annoying, is not the end of the world in my life. What does concern me however, if that I am forced to drive like at drunk on my lunch hour.What benefit does that have? I had a dude on a bike for three blocks on a cell phone and a while on a bike this afternoon peddle along with NO clue as to where or what he was doing! I drove, at honest to God at 5mph for two blocks with this guy going in and out of the lanes, just to watch him carelessly roll into the other lane...thank the stars the driver of the Jeep in the other lane STOPPED and for about twenty seconds we both waited for this guy all dressed up in gear decide where he wanted to go. If either of us had hit him. It would be our records and our "fault". This lack of care to all involved is a grave mistake.

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bandmama 3 years, 4 months ago

going on.... If we want BIKE TOWN USA...I am daring the SSPD to start handing out, NOT tickets but WARNINGS to bikers...and guess what? To vehicle operators who are most are doing the best to keep all involved safe. Let a few stand up in court and state exactly why WE may choose to drive in the other lane, impede traffic and use the current CDOT, maked lanes for motor vehicle mode of traffic for driving. I am NOT asking for harrassment but I am asking the SSPD to step up and cite folks who may assume favors because they are on a bike. Safety is a major issue for Bike Town USA. for them and anyone else brave enough to drive on a US highway. (HWY 40)... callled Downtown Steamboat Springs. I should not be afraid to drive down/up on the only mainstreet of my hometown because some feel it is a bike free for all. I am seriously concerned that someday I may kill/maim/hurt a person/child because those who are peddling along assume they own the road. The town has made a half $$ed effort to make lanes. STAY IN THEM???????

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mtroach 3 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Ms.Decker. We can just mark you up as a victim of our town's tourist natural selection process. I bet your open room will be filled by one of the thousands of cyclists that visited our town, participated in our great events, rode our roads and trails and thought" I need to go back to steamboat and ride again".

We'll miss your next visit Ms.Decker but I really think it's your loss, not ours.

You should really come back in the winter, only a few hardcore bikers are out on the roads for the winter half of the year.

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bandmama 3 years, 4 months ago

roach- you have it wrong! Sort of............. Locals have jobs due to the folks who come PAY to stay where we call home. For the most part. Do you (anyone) realize the amount of money spent by a family of four, to stay in our "home" town for a week by current Chamber stats? A LOT. While I dont condone buttheads screaming/yelling/taking advantage of MY/OURS hospitality tourist OR local. It is a hard fact of life. The disrespect shown on any given day by bikers to every motor vehicle on the road...that we all (wink wink...) proclaim to share is...ahhh..there. The only victims will be some poor kid following the adult onto a busy street. Sort of like the guy whose little girl almost got creamed at 5th and Yampa. The dude was cyclin' long, with his (?..A little girl..) daughter behind. Blew completely through the sign-age. And the kid almost got creamed. the "father" peddled on in his bike suit, completely heedless to the fact that the child behind him had been in any danger. I DARE the folks who travel on any of the few main streets of SteamBoat to video, share,tag and publish in some way... the blatant lack of the enforcement of "rules" within the city limits. Someone is going to be hurt. it is not in Steamboat's best interest to become known as "Smash-um-up"-Town USA.

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bandmama 3 years, 4 months ago

And let me state again, while a little annoying at times. I am more than willing to stay employed and deal with slowing down a little. Rather than having to relocate elsewhere, the Valley is now my home. Make it SAFE. And have a little respect for those of us who live and work here and really have to get back to work... maybe to serve you your lunch????

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mtroach 3 years, 4 months ago

Ok bmama, you are right and I'm wrong. Do you feel better now?

Do you have any stats on just how big an impact cycling is having on steamboat's tourist numbers? We already had the Tour de Eriksen, Ride the Rockies, Bike Tour of CO, Steamboat Stinger, already bring thousands of cyclists to our town to replace Ms.Decker and this weekend is the Livestrong ride that used cyclists to raise over$250,000 for anti cancer work,$100,000 stayed here in the valley. In two weeks we are due to see the top cyclists in the world, including the entire Tour de France podium and World Champion, to downtown for the finish of the USAPCC. No other town on that race's course is hosting both a finish and a start!

Face the fact that when steamboat's main summer tourism draw was Triple Crown everyone hated them, now they are being replaced by cyclists and everyone is quick to jump on the hate cyclists bandwagon. (That you seem to be driving, slowly behind a group of cyclists) So if Ms.Decker dosnt return because of some rude cyclists I'm OK with that, what goes unsaid is the extra parking that was available to everyone due to locals riding bikes, and the safer roads that drunk bikers provide by not driving a car home from the bar, and let's not forget the reduction in our dependance on Saudi oil that cyclists afford to us all by not driving a greeeenhouse gas belching automobile. So what if you need to pay attention to them when driving, I'm glad something is drawing your attention to the road when you are at the wheel of your killing machine.

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bandmama 3 years, 4 months ago

mtroach- Aren't you cute! I think I made my point clear that I support the tourist dollars. What I was trying to express is that without enforcement from SSPD someone will be hurt. I pay EXTREME attention when driving. I dont hate cyclists, I DISLIKE the dumb ones that put others ad themselves in danger. And shoot, I really wish that I COULD pay attention to the road when driving instead of poo poo heads darting into traffic from all directions! LOL! Have a super pleasant day.

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JustSomeJoe 3 years, 4 months ago

Let's apply Rowena's logic to other situations. On my way home from lunch today I saw not one but two cars roll through 4 way stop signs. I am shocked by the liberties taken by drivers in this town. Thanks goodness I drive defensively (not like I should) or somebody could have been hurt. In fact, just call me a hero, I probably saved someone's life by remaining in control of my vehicle and exercising caution while operating a deadly weapon. In other words, yay me and shame on everyone else!

Yesterday I saw a driver go the wrong way down 8th street from Oak while on my bike going the right way. All drivers go the wrong way down one way streets in Steamboat while all bike riders follow one way signs. Where's the cops when you need them? Pedestrians on 8th street are fortunate I follow the road signs, otherwise I could kill them if I went the wrong way.

Only in Steamboat will you find these outlaw bicyclists. I'm going somewhere like Blackhawk CO where they know how to deal with deadly 175 pound person riding a 25 pound bike, OUTLAW THEM. OUTLAW BIKES IN STEAMBOAT! I smell a petition! Contest idea: Once we outlaw bikes here, we need a new marketing name. Maybe base it on the law and order that will rule here once bikes are gone. Law and Order Town, USA!

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exduffer 3 years, 4 months ago

I think it just goes to prove this town's increasingly more apparent "Lazier than thou" attitude. If you don't believe me, sit and watch the parade of jaywalkers at the downtown post office.

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bandmama 3 years, 4 months ago

joe-lol! good one! Seriously, I for one am only asking that the cars stay in the lanes designated for their use and obey the laws set for to keep all safe. I also am only asking that both cyclists and pedestrians stay in their designated lanes and obey the same rules set forth for everyone. I raelly am not getting why this is such a horrible thing to ask? I for one use the crosswalks. Why? Because they are there for my safety (realitively speaking on Lincoln..lol!). I dont drive/walk/ride on the wrong side of the road because I may hurt someone and I could be hurt. I dont randomly dart out infront of large moving objects because that would mke me an idiot. Of course I do believe in Darwin's theory. Perhaps it happens at a much faster rate at higher elevations like Steamboat. HAHAHAHAAAA!!! Really, respect everyone out there and stay safe. It is a simple thing to do. And if a cop catches me being a dolt in a car or on foot or on a bike and allows me to continue to put someone else in danger, he really isn't doing his job now is he?

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dave reynolds 3 years, 4 months ago

Hey ROACH..dont kid yourself you can and will be busted for riding a bike drunk..don't believe me just ask any of Steamboats Finest..

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bandmama 3 years, 4 months ago

paddle- you are so very right. It is about respect, from everyone. I really dont mind waiting a few moments and give way to a cyclist, or a pedistrian, or a tourist in a car who really doesn't know where to go. But I do mind when the thoughtless attitude from some who think "they have to stop for me" is presented on the most traveled streets in town. We are all just trying to get to where we need/want to be. Please all, LOOK... be considerate and for petes sake remember that with all the modes of transportation going on in our little town, that is is ALL of us who share the responsibility to make it safe. And with that respect and consideration for all, it could be a much nicer experience for all.

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