Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs residents are used to navigating detours around Lincoln Avenue, but Wednesday's July Fourth holiday schedules will include a new twist for motorists making their way through downtown during the festivities.
First, the familiar: Lincoln Avenue will be closed from 5 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. from Fifth to 11th streets in downtown Steamboat. The closure will allow for the annual Fourth of July parade, which starts at 10 a.m. The Steamboat Sprint 400-yard dash takes place at 9:40 a.m., also on the shut-down portion of Lincoln Avenue.
Now, the not-so-familiar: All vehicular traffic leaving Howelsen Hill after Wednesday night’s Free Summer Concert Series show will be sent down River Road to its intersection with Mount Werner Road. Motorists can make a left there to access U.S. Highway 40. Drivers coming from the Howelsen Hill parking lots will not be permitted to cross the Fifth Street Bridge and head back into downtown Wednesday night.
Steamboat Springs Police Chief Joel Rae said the city has tried this approach once before. The hope is that it will prevent the traffic bottleneck into the heart of downtown that results from the flood of cars onto Fifth Street after events at Howelsen Hill. That traffic is complicated further by the large number of pedestrians and bicyclists who use the adjacent Yampa River Core Trail to head back into downtown following a Howelsen Hill event.
“It’s a traffic training plan in the hopes that we will have fireworks next year,” Rae said.
Rae thinks traffic will be lighter at Howelsen Hill on Wednesday evening because of the lack of a fireworks display. However, a Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series performance begins at 6:30 p.m. at the rodeo grounds, and the Free Summer Concert Series featuring Beatles cover band 1964 ... The Tribute begins at 8:30 p.m. in the Howelsen Hill Amphitheater.
Rae encouraged rodeo attendees and concertgoers to ditch their cars before heading to the events.
“We obviously encourage people to take alternative transportation,” Rae said. “Park in remote lots, use the free city bus, walk or bike along the Core Trail.”
A number of local bars and restaurants also are hosting live music in honor of the holiday. Click here for a complete listing of Fourth of July events.
Expanded bus service
Steamboat Springs Transit’s free bus service will be extended by four hours Wednesday night to handle the expected increase in passengers.
The city bus service, which typically ends at 10 p.m., will continue until 2:20 a.m. Buses will run every 20 minutes. Steamboat Springs Transit also will run additional unscheduled buses during the day to help with increased passenger demand.
Buses run from west Steamboat to downtown and up to the base of Steamboat Ski Area. For a complete bus schedule and description of the different bus lines, click here.