Sharon Sexton: Drive considerately

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To the driver of the full-sized pickup with enclosed snowmobile trailer:

I am truly sorry for making you angry by trying to pull ahead of you when my lane ended on the west side of Steamboat near the park with the large, bronze elk.

I was trying very hard to merge nicely with the full-size Dodge pickup (I’m sure that you couldn’t even see him because he was almost attached to the bumper of your trailer) when the driver sped up to prevent my merge. There was enough room for me to slip in front of you to avoid the Dodge, but you, too, sped up to prevent my merge. I was left in the shoulder next to three full-sized pickups, two snowmobile trailers and nowhere to go. Your wife was yelling at me. Please apologize to her for me. I really had no intention of acting aggressively. I only wanted to get into the lane of traffic.

By the way, your right turn blinker on your trailer is out, and you almost hit me when pulling into the turn lane going to North Routt. I was already in the lane with my blinker on when you decided to use the lane to follow your friend. You startled me with your unsignaled, sudden lane change. I’m sorry I honked. I’m honestly sorry for the anger I caused you.

To the driver of the full-sized white Dodge pickup:

I am sorry that you couldn’t see my blinker as I tried to merge into traffic on the west side of Steamboat. I have had my mechanic replace the bulb with a brighter one. Maybe you could only see the back of the snowmobile trailer you were following so closely that you couldn’t see the lane was ending and a silver Subaru needed to merge. Maybe my car was too huge for you to slow down to give me 6 feet of room in the lane. I really hope the brighter blinker will help if we ever meet again.

I also want to thank you for finally letting me into the traffic lane after being forced to drive in the shoulder for about a half-mile. It was very generous of you to share your lane with little ol’ me.

To fellow Routt County drivers:

Merge is a simple term. Two lanes become one. We must take turns and let others in. Blinkers help. We all know where these merge lanes are. We drive here every day. There is one on the south side of town and one on the west. Is it really so hard to remove your foot from the gas instead of flooring the pedal to be first? I ruined someone’s day because someone ruined mine with anger and aggressive driving. Please, look around at these junctions and play nice with other drivers. I promise I will let you in!

Sharon Sexton

Silver Subaru driver

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Cresean Sterne 1 year, 4 months ago

I feel your pain as well Sharon. That merge sign is not a yield sign. Most long time locals undrstand this and let people merge correctly. There are quite a few who legaly drive down the the right lane, through the twenty mile light, passing 15 cars and then try to merge left into traffic. Alot of drivers get upset because they waited in traffic only to be what they think is cut off. Therefore we see alot of people driving aggresivly just so you dont merge in front of them. What you did is legal and you should not be ashamed. This section of highway was never as bad 20yrs ago untill the town trippled in size. Congestion has become a big problem through there. I have complained many times about having the city or cdot bring the sign back 100 yards makeing the merge lane longer. The Dream Island bus stop is a whole other problem. I am suprised that the bus or a pedestrian has not been hit. That bus stop should have a set back so it is not stopping traffic. This is our widest 2 lane road in town. I wish they would widen the highway through there decongesting our traffic. To me it looks like there is plenty of space for this to be done. Same problem occurs East of town past the Walton Creek light. The signs posted does not give you enough notice to start merging. I feel bad for out of town visitor who dont see this comeing untill its to late. These are just some of things our town should be focusing on because they are a problem. ...JMO...

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Cresean Sterne 1 year, 4 months ago

Great point Tom and makes sense. We do not need to mess with any natural springs. Its a tuff spot and the bus stop doesnt help. There is the R lane going east bound as you pass dream island. This lane never gets much use except for impatient people. Maybe there could be a way to redesign utilizing some of that section and the oversized middle turning lane as well. At the least I think the signage should be looked at a different way..

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Pat West 1 year, 4 months ago

I belive the road's "merge" lane isn't dangerous, the speeding drivers are. If everyone slowed down and waited till after the merge point to speed up to 40 mph, as the signs reflect, there would be less of a problem. I've found that the speed limit of 25 mph is ignored and most traffic is already going 35 or more toward the merge, with two lanes of cars speeding into one lane of course there will be conflict. I would suggest lowering and enforcing a slower speed limit on US-40 past the merge, so that drivers are not accelerating into this constriction point.

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Cresean Sterne 1 year, 4 months ago

After driving that stretch for the bazzilianth time today I truly believe that posting another merge or maybe prepare to merge sign back to about where the old sweet pea market was would a huge help. (Especialy for someone out of town or those passing through on Hwy 40).. I have been guilty of drving a little fast through there from time to time as so are a lot of people. Most of us have experienced getting pinched out at that intersection which is why I usualy stay in the left lane. I hate to say it Pat but keeping the speed limit to 25 mph for a little farther or reducing it could help. It may keep people from rushing through a merge zone to get to that 40 mph sign. I certainly dont want to drive 25 any farther than it is now but this may help that hurry up congestion that happens at the end of each work day. (I'm sure I will hear about this from friends this week telling me to hush up).

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David High 1 year, 4 months ago

There is the issue on the east side of town as well. We have a right turn only lane that goes into the Shell/Central Park businesses. It is not clear to those that are only driving through Steamboat that this is a right turn only lane and merging or turning is required. Cars "stuck" in the right lane accelerate and frequently merge from the shoulder after the right lane has ended while at a 45 MPH zone. I am waiting for the perfect scenario where a car turning left from Shell onto highway 40, a merging car going east, and a cyclist all converge at the same time. It is not uncommon to have to simply stop on my bike and wait for the traffic to pass as I fear I will get rear ended. It sounds to me like there are issues on both ends of town where two lanes become one.

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Cresean Sterne 1 year, 4 months ago

Thats a bad one to David. I pull out of the Shell frequently and have had close calls with drivers not knowing they need to merge left or turn right. Instead they will continue on the shoulder straight past the turn into the shell station. After 25 yrs of driving through the Walton Creek light. I have noticed that except for the 4th of July and other special events, the east bound traffic never gets backed up more then a couple of cars.(unless you are turning left onto Walton Creek Road) Therfore I would suggest a sign on the stop light post focusing on those in the right lane stating RIGHT TURN AHEAD ONLY or something to that extent. Doesnt hurt to try...

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Pat West 1 year, 4 months ago

David, I you are right about the US40, Central Park dr. same can be said for across the street at US-40 and Walton Creek road. I would love to see this town get behind the idea of bike lanes on US-40 between Holiday Inn and 3rd street. Every intersection and off ramp presents a real danger to cyclists. After riding in Ft.Collins, and enjoying the bike lanes on most of their busy streets, I wish a bike friendly town like Steamboat would take steps to make US-40 safer with bike lanes showing the right of way for cyclists over turning traffic. I for one would also like to know why the speed limit from McDonalds to old fish creek falls road is 45mph? Couldn't we reduce traffic pressure downtown if the cars coming westbound into downtown were slowed well before the Hilltop Parkway?

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Pat West 1 year, 4 months ago

David, I you are right about the US40, Central Park dr. same can be said for across the street at US-40 and Walton Creek road. I would love to see this town get behind the idea of bike lanes on US-40 between Holiday Inn and 3rd street. Every intersection and off ramp presents a real danger to cyclists. After riding in Ft.Collins, and enjoying the bike lanes on most of their busy streets, I wish a bike friendly town like Steamboat would take steps to make US-40 safer with bike lanes showing the right of way for cyclists over turning traffic. I for one would also like to know why the speed limit from McDonalds to old fish creek falls road is 45mph? Couldn't we reduce traffic pressure downtown if the cars coming westbound into downtown were slowed well before the Hilltop Parkway?

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Cresean Sterne 1 year, 4 months ago

I agree with you Pat. Maybe reducing the speed to 40 in the winter time at least. Bike Lns would be nice to see on hwy 40. I have also seen too many families with kids biking on the shoulder of the highway trying to find their way to town. The only access to the path on that stretch is over to fetchers pond or turning into freshies. If your not from here it is easy to miss where the path continues forcing people to ride the highway shoulder into town. It scares me to death when I see families with young kids weaving there way to town against traffic that is going 45 mph. Maybe having a sidewalk built also on the south side of hwy 40 like the deteriating sidewalk on the north side would be a safe altenative. Also is there a reason why we have not landscap 9ed the median between Mt Werner exit and the east side fire house? I really thought that would have been beautified by now instead of dirt, broken bricks, and the occasional out of place shrub. The entrances both east and west into town should be welcoming and make even the pass through driver want to stop. Its still very industrial untill you reach down town. Lamps and plants can do a lot. I would like the city to focus more on items such as these. Ever since the real estate boom hit Stmbt years back, I feel like the city focused too much on items that has obviously created a lot of tension and debate in town. Again this is JMO.

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Cresean Sterne 1 year, 4 months ago

I know that I am off the topic but I wanted to state that I dont expect anything to change to much. It has been this way for a long time and I'm not certain how the road map will look for Stmbt. A lot of the open space is disapearing and it is obviously becoming more and more crowded and more dangerous for pedestrians and bikers. I feel like Stmbt in the past had focused on family style growth, smart development while preserving our open space and not turning the mountain into lego land. Steamboat has also been host to some of the largest environmental groups and seminars in the country yet somehow we have managed to get a below average environmental rating for the ski area. (this should be a red flag and taken very seriously)...The ski area may be a seperate corporation but its still our Steamboat and a big part of what makes Steamboat today. Even though I wasnt born here I do call Stmbt my home and family. I truly love just about everything this community has to offer. It is a fantastic place to live or visit with some of the smartest and kindest people anywhere. After 25 yrs, I dont call myself an old timer but feel like I've been here long enough to see that Stmbt has changed its priorities a bit by focusing too much on devlopment and not enough on safety and preservation while adjusting to the rapid population growth.

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Cresean Sterne 1 year, 4 months ago

Yah. Saw that comeing as well. Theres gonna be a lot of frowned up on left turns comeing out of that parking lot. I think Its gonna get a bit ugly..

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