Steamboat Springs After receiving a complaint from a longtime community member, the city of Steamboat Springs will work to make sure no one smokes inside of its bus shelters.
No smoking signs soon will be installed at all of the shelters, and police will help to remind people of the rule.
The non-smoking policy at bus shelters hasn't been enforced in recent years.
Paul Brabenec, who rides the bus to work, wrote to the city and asked why it was being allowed at the bus stops.
City officials initially didn't think Steamboat could police it without a new ordinance.
But upon further review, they have rediscovered the city's Smoke Free Air Act that was passed in 2005 does indeed prohibit smoking at bus shelters, along with other places of “public accommodation" that include the waiting areas for buses.
The ordinance called for signs to be installed at the places where smoking wasn't allowed, but many of the bus shelters have been replaced since then and do not carry the signs.
The ordinance specifically covers cigarette smoke.
Smoking of marijuana isn't allowed in any public place.
“It's really a health issue,” Public Safety Director Joel Rae said Thursday. “We're going to ask people to be respectful of those waiting at the shelters and to smoke (cigarettes) at a distance far enough away so that those people aren't affected by second-hand smoke.”
Rae said he can't recall a time anyone has been given a ticket for violating the 2005 Clean Air Act, but repeat offenders who ignore warnings can face municipal fines.
He said initially, the police department will focus on education the public about the no smoking policy.
“I think it's one of those things that can be easy to lose track of eight years later,” he said referring to the city's 2005 Clean Air Act.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10