Steamboat Springs Police Department community service officer Scott Shaffer issues warnings for jaywalking to Adam Knapp and Dana Stein, both of Steamboat Springs, at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Sixth Street on Aug. 17.

Photo by Tom Ross

Steamboat Springs Police Department community service officer Scott Shaffer issues warnings for jaywalking to Adam Knapp and Dana Stein, both of Steamboat Springs, at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Sixth Street on Aug. 17.

New street-crossing rule impacting farmers market in Steamboat Springs

Advertisement

— With it now clearly illegal for pedestrians to cross Lincoln Avenue at Sixth Street, organizers of the Mainstreet Farmers Market might consider finding a new home for the summertime event.

New signs instructing pedestrians not to cross at Sixth and 10th streets went up Aug. 8 because city officials thought it was dangerous for people to cross where there are no marked crosswalks or stoplights.

“This is a dangerous crossing point,” Steamboat Springs Police Chief Joel Rae said Tuesday.

There have been three farmers markets since the signs were put up, and Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett said the new rules have had an impact.

On Aug. 17, community service officers were stationed at either side of Lincoln Avenue. They asked for people’s IDs and handed out written warnings to those who jaywalked. Some of the people given warnings said they did not see the signs.

“I definitely had not seen it,” said eight-year Steamboat resident Dana Stein, who received a written warning Aug 17. “It’s a corner. It seems natural to cross there. I’m a New Yorker. I’ve been jaywalking all my life.”

Rae said he thought the issuance of written warnings was a little too aggressive of a policing strategy. During the most recent Farmers Market on Saturday, Rae said community service officers again were stationed at the corners, but this time, they were directed to educate people by asking them to cross at Fifth or Seventh streets. They strictly were told not to give written warnings, Rae said.

Barnett said pedestrians no longer crossing at Sixth Street is deterring sales at the Farmers Market. The closest ATM is directly across the street, and now, customers have to go out of their way to use it, Barnett said.

Steamboat City Manager Deb Hinsvark said the city’s management team will meet Thursday morning to brainstorm and come up with alternative locations for the Farmers Market that will keep people from using unmarked crosswalks.

“I think we’ve identified the safety issue,” Hinsvark said. “We are encouraging people to cross there by having a Farmers Market there.”

Barnett said the Farmers Market has been doing well this summer, and sales are back to where they were before the Great Recession. There is room for 75 vendors at the current location.

Relocating the Farmers Market is not a simple task, Barnett said.

“I don’t know what to think,” Barnett said. “I think we have to weigh all the pros and cons.”

The street has to be wide like it is at Sixth Street to accommodate a circle of vendors, Barnett said. Some of the vendors also need access to electricity.

“There are a lot of requirements that it needs to make it work,” Barnett said. “There needs to be a gathering space. There needs to be shade.”

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

Join the Yampa Valley VIP email club

Yampa Valley VIP

Comments

Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 1 month ago

So in Bod Town USA people can't walk or bike an extra block or two to access the Farmer's Market. You just can't make this stuff up! Maybe the City Council in all their wisdom will decree a new stop light at 6th.

1

rhys jones 1 year, 1 month ago

Funny that they enforce the pedestrian "laws" (I agree that an intersection is a natural crossing point) while the bikes and boards sail the sidewalks unhindered.

3

Clay Ogden 1 year, 1 month ago

"while the bikes and boards sail the sidewalks unhindered" ... while bikes and cars sail through stop signs unhindered. And no ... I really don't see this as a bike vs. cars issue ... my guess is the same folks ... regardless of the number of wheels ... blaze right through the signs on Oak at 3rd, 5th, 7th, etc.. Seems to me a city with a tight budget could make a fortune there.

0

John Fielding 1 year, 1 month ago

.

We should not prohibit pedestrians from crossing at an intersection where cars and bikes can cross.

We went to considerable lengths to make Lincoln pedestrian friendly, most notably with the bump-outs. This completely negates that and every other such effort.

The logical course is to place lights at the even intersections too. If they were well coordinated the impact on traffic would be minimal. But I think the state must approve additional lights. Come to think of it they may also regulate where we can allow or disallow ped crossings.

In most locations a simple painted crosswalk would be employed. But we fear, rightly so I think, that too often traffic will be delayed.

I recently vacationed at length in Oregon, where respect for pedestrians is very apparent. Most cars I observed would stop at a crosswalk even if the pedestrian was already past their side of the road, and stay still till they mounted the opposite curb . I have seen major cities (SLC for example) that put crosswalks at mid block on main streets and have flags available at each side so crossers can command the attention of drivers.

Who decided on this course of installing warning signs? And who gave the direction for these particular enforcement actions? Was the decision complaint driven? Was the suggestion sent up and down the chain of authority?

Lets get rid of those signs before the winter tourists get here. We are in the hospitality business, as well as actually being a very friendly town. This is a big black eye for that reputation.

Or maybe we can pile snow at those illegal crossing points. That'll fix 'em!

.

1

Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 1 month ago

For better or for worse Lincoln Avenue is also known as Highway 40. I have no problem going to an intersection with a stop light and waiting for green to cross. If the good burghers of Steamboat want to re-route Highway 40 and turn Lincoln Ave into a fun zone so be it. Until they do we have to deal with the laws as they currently exist

1

Cresean Sterne 1 year, 1 month ago

Again, we need to look how boulder and other tourist towns solved this problem with flashing crosswalks. If we think Stmbt is crowded during rush hour, go drive around Boulder at 5pm. They have dozens and dozens of flashing cross walks, some right in the middle of a block. Seems to be working alright for them.

0

cindy constantine 1 year, 1 month ago

Cresean, reread Dan's post--I don't know of a U.S. Hwy that runs through Boulder like Lincoln Ave (U.S. 40). Can we also have respect for the # of semis and other traffic that just want to get through this town? What is wrong with walking 1 block to a designated cross-walk and do our best to let traffic flow! It is not helpful to compare ourselves to Boulder or other locations as this not an apples to apples comparison. Stop and go traffic at every street on Lincoln Ave. seems to me to be "less green" and certainly noisier.

0

Pat West 1 year, 1 month ago

Cindy, you see a lot of cars stopping for Jaywalkers? I see jaywalkers going between the gaps, not causing traffic to stop. Shooting the gaps jaywalking is certainly dangerous, but I have doubts it slows the flow of traffic.

0

john bailey 1 year, 1 month ago

signs , signs , everywhere a sign. at some point it becomes a distraction. I believe a little more commonsense and less signs or do you like being reminded of what to do. YOU , yes you laddy , stand still.......~;0)

1

rhys jones 1 year, 1 month ago

When I'm intending to cross a street, I'm looking for moving obstacles, not stationary ones. I didn't even notice those stupid signs until all these articles pointed them out. I'm still shooting the gaps. I imagine the birds get quite a chuckle out of us, crowding our little corridors of concrete, obediently waiting in line, stopping for lights, with so much open space all around.

1

walt jones 1 year, 1 month ago

Hmmmm Yampa Street might be the place to move to. Just adds to the bigger plan and can expedite the no cars on Yampa that they are trying to achieve.

0

Scott Wedel 1 year, 1 month ago

I guess they need to talk to nearby property owners about installing an ATM on that side of the street.

0

Scott Wedel 1 year, 1 month ago

Or they could move the farmer's market to the spacious Rita Valentine park. According to our city manager that would be consistent to the original gift of the land to the city. And it would be closer to more of the city.

2

Mark Ruckman 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm confused, I don't recall any car & jaywalker accidents.

It is my understanding the signs and enforcement were put in place to try and avoid an accident.

I don't see how we suddenly went from trying to avoid an accident to looking at alternative locations for the farmers market. We went from zero to 100 rather fast.

1

Kailey Fischer 1 year, 1 month ago

We could always just put in pedestrian bridges at 6th & 10th. According to saferoutesinfo.org, pedestrian bridges can cost as little as 500,000, so I bet we could have the two built for not much more than $1,000,000...

0

Richard Bear 1 year, 1 month ago

People, c'mon. A thirty dollar can of white paint, done up in Abbey Road stripes, makes it a legal crosswalk. The law says, STOP for pedestrians in a crosswalk. Problem solved. Duhhhhh,

1

Richard Bear 1 year, 1 month ago

Then again, maybe we should hire a consulting group to study the impact of such a brazen change to traffic flow .

0

Scott Wedel 1 year, 1 month ago

Richard,

A conceptual artist should just paint the crosswalk and claim that it is a public art making a political statement.

This city government would be paralyzed for months dealing with the potential destruction of public art if they were to remove it.

Man installs highway signs stating speed limits enforced by drones

http://www.marinij.com/sausalito_old/ci_23723323/man-behind-highway-drone-signs-steps-forward

0

Ben Tiffany 1 year, 1 month ago

The city should find something better to do than going after jaywalkers. I really haven't heard that this issue was much of a problem,until someone decided to make an issue of it. It is asinine to walk a block,cross,and walk a block back if one's destination is right across the street. This is especially true if there is no traffic anywhere near the jaywalker as he/she is crossing the street. I agree with John Fielding,who questions how the decision to put up these signs came about;who did decide that they were needed? I would be for removing them and cease harassing tourists and locals unnecessarily. Don't create an issue before there is an actual need. Sure a driver might hit a pedestrian at some point,but that can occur whether there are jaywalking laws or not. Give people a little credit for intelligence and their ability to avoid an accident,either by crossing or driving.

1

John Fielding 1 year, 1 month ago

.

I would hope that questions such as these can be easily answered, that our processes be transparent. I have a very high regard for our city employees, on the whole, they are usually dedicated and often hardworking but generally not highly paid nor given due respect.

Much of the latter stems from the processes they must use which are designed to protect the city government from charges of favoritism or other unfair practices. (Another way to say that is cover your backside). There is a good reason the process becomes less transparent, people don't want to get in trouble for unpopular decisions, even ones that were based on the best intentions. And its not just the public they could get in trouble with, lower level mess-ups make supervisors look bad, and people who speak up about problems worry about consequences, and so on.

There are ways by which we can improve this condition, and it involves supporting, not attacking the personnel. A few individuals will be problematic but eliminating the difficulties they create will be a tremendous support to the others.

No one wants to get rid of a bad apple as much as the others in the same barrel.

.

0

John Fielding 1 year ago

Suppose we just put in crossing lights for pedestrians, without the signal lights for autos? Or if we are going to go with signs only, one that asks pedestrians to wait for a gap in traffic, "share the road?

0

Scott Wedel 1 year ago

Driving downtown last night I felt like there were a dozen people that could have been killed.

There was the group that crossed Lincoln at a crosswalk, but when the light was green for the traffic on Lincoln.

There was the family biking in the dark in the wrong direction on Yampa St.

And there were some pedestrians doing nothing wrong walking along Lincoln, but the corners and crosswalks are not well lit and a car making a left from Lincoln doesn't see this darkly clothed group until about 15 feet away. For all of the work done on Lincoln, the intersections amazingly poorly lit.

0

John Fielding 1 year ago

At the core of this issue is, of course, the combination of heavy auto traffic with heavy bike and pedestrian use. Maybe 25 is too fast on Lincoln, but 15 on Yampa is too fast too. I drove Yampa just before dark tonight and was very concerned for the safety of cyclers and pedestrians. Fortunately most of us who drive these streets regularly are well aware of the inclinations of the tourists and show great consideration. But I'm sure I'm not the only one who has noticed fewer cars yielding to those crossing at the unmarked intersections. I used to always yield years ago, but have come to feel I'm imposing too much on the traffic behind me.

Again I say, a "wait for walk light" sign and a painted crosswalk is the balanced solution. Time them to the traffic lights and it will maintain both safety and traffic flow. It is a hospitable accommodation for both tourists and local downtown shoppers.

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.