Sustainability Council to host panel about alternative transportation in the Yampa Valley

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— On Tuesday night, the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council will host a three-person panel to explore what alternative transportation may look like in Steamboat Springs in the near and distant future. The council also will hold a green car show, showcasing the latest in environmentally friendly vehicles on the market today.

Past Event

Thinking Outside the Car: Alternatives in Transportation

  • Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs
  • Not available

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Sustainability Council Program and Marketing Director Andy Kennedy said the premier topic the panel will pore over during the one-hour discussion involves the Colorado Department of Transportation’s high-speed rail project, which is set to break ground in 2016.

On hand to give statewide insight on the project, as well as other topics during the panel discussion, will be state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, as well as CDOT Project Manager David Krutsinger and Steamboat Springs Transit Manager Jonathan Flint, who carries extensive rail experience from his time working in Alaska, Kennedy said.

As a resort town in Northwest Colorado, Kennedy said, the mode of transportation in and out of Steamboat Springs is overwhelmingly by car. As tourists and full-time residents intertwine, the number of vehicles increases, and with no signs of it slowing down, the Sustainability Council is looking to heighten awareness on how Steamboat’s transportation future could take shape.

“We’re going to have to take cars off the road,” Kennedy said. “It isn’t a question. It’s getting to the point where we don’t have parking for them. We’re really just highlighting the future of transportation in-state with alternative car.”

The Sustainability Council and panel will examine if Steamboat — a hot spot for tourism but also still a rural destination — could implement some of the same alternative transportation strategies as bigger, less remote communities, such as those on the Front Range or the Interstate 70 corridor. Some ideas include a high-speed train, light rails, shared cars and bikes.

The green car show will precede panel discussion. The five models, though very different in design, all represent gas-efficient, cleaner modes of transportation.

The Sustainability Council will display Executive Director Sarah Jones’ Ford C-MAX, which gets about 42 miles per gallon in the city and can be driven either solely on electric or with an electric boost.

The show also will feature the all-electric Nissan Leaf and a standard Toyota Prius. A bit of a twist will be a hydro-powered Hummer. A biodiesel-powered car rounds out the five on display.

Networking and the car show begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Steamboat Springs Community Center, with the panel discussion going from 6 to 7 p.m.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

Comments

Harvey Lyon 5 months ago

NICE! DMB will be hosting a bike to work hearing when it's highs of 85. Better when she hosts when the highs are negative 20.

What a Crock....sounds repiticious....doesn't it.

DMD WILL RAISE ENERGY PRICES UNTIL YOU"RE SUCKING AND BEHOLDING TO THE GOVERNMENT"S......whatever. FACT!

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Scott Wedel 5 months ago

“We’re going to have to take cars off the road,”

I am not aware of exactly how an electric car reduces traffic compared to a normal gas car.

And the idea that we have to remove cars because we don't have the parking is particularly stupid because the additional development will have parking for their residents and customers.

And we have not pushed downtown parking commonly out to Pine St. Downtown parking is only a challenge when seeking to park within a block of your destination. The city's lot at 4th and Oak is rarely full. If you compare downtown parking on a normal night vs a max event such as 4th of July rodeo and fireworks then you'll see the huge difference between what we are normally using vs what is available.

I also think that we could be close to a revolution in ride sharing. Smart apps can allow someone to post their commute or errand and allow passengers to sign on for a fair fee. Right now there isn't much money in that app compared to Uber and such providing taxi service, but it is a natural next step to build their business of drivers willing to provide rides and customers needing rides.

And government could help by removing archaic regulations on ride sharing. Concerns 50 years ago of poorly maintained vehicles and bad drivers are solved by passengers with smart phones able to provide feedback and even call 911. Currently, if carpooling friends reimburse the driver then that is an illegal taxi service.

The current rules would be as if government required using a travel agency to book flights or hotels. It would have forced people to continue being customers of travel agencies instead of being able to use internet lower cost services that have largely eliminated an unnecessary middle man.

In contrast, the very protective rules for taxi companies are doing far more to ban similar services as taxis than protect customers. Thus, we have not seen the same sort of competition for ride services as we've seen for airline or hotel reservations.

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jerry carlton 5 months ago

There has been a lot of success taking the cars off the streets of Denver, the entire front range, 50% of California, etc. and Mr Kennedy wants to take the cars off the streets of Steamboat? Is this guy paid with tax dollars? If so, this is a serious wast of the dollars. Johnathan Flint is a good guy and he might bring some common sense to this discussion. I worked under him when I drove city bus quite a few years ago. DMB = politician. Enough said. Another interesting weekend in Obama/Emanuel land. 40 shot but only 4 dead. They are making real progress.

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Scott Wedel 5 months ago

The trains discussion should be real short and simple. Trains only make sense when surface streets are so congested that trans can be substantially faster. Otherwise, buses are much cheaper and more flexible.

The congestion issue is why trains in the I70 corridor is being considered.

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mark hartless 5 months ago

"A gullible or easily decieved individual...."

"Someone not drinking from the "fountain of knowledge".

"Propagandists for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause."

"a person used by others for their own purposes."...ie "they had allowed themselves to be used as pawns..."

Those who have "surrounded themselves with themselves."

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mark hartless 5 months ago

I'll give up my suburban when Mr. Kennedy and Ms. Bush pry my cold dead fingers from it's steering wheel...

Socialism isn't for the ranchers... it's for their cattle (read YOU).

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Pat West 5 months ago

That's just what the Arab oil dealers want, more of your cash to fund their extremist agenda. When you are a sheep it's hard to understand how the shepherd controls you?

Why not support energy independence as a national security issue? The whims of an Arab priest, that decides to cause unrest, should not effect the price of my transportation. I applaud those that are finding new ways to get around without oil. The more people that use alternates to oil, the more USA oil can stay here and fuel your gas guzzler.

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Scott Wedel 5 months ago

Well, if the state government was willing to serve the public and wasn't owned by taxi cab lobbyists and so they were willing to remove the taxi company monopoly on accepting fares to transport people on short notice then your suburban could be quite the popular people mover allowing you to afford filling the gas tank.

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Pat West 5 months ago

So much could be done the change the status quo if government wasn't owned by industry, and corporate "people".

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mark hartless 5 months ago

Yep, I'm in cahoots with the arabs. I don't want US oil and nat gas. Let's NOT tap into the ocean of energy we have under our feet. Let's ride bicycles to work in the snow and pretend it's fun instead...

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mark hartless 5 months ago

... now Scott's "train" comment dont make no sense...

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mark hartless 5 months ago

n.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marge_vs._the_Monorai

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Cresean Sterne 5 months ago

As the rate of DUI's here continue to grow off the charts, it wont matter any way. In 5-10 yrs half the newbees here will have lost their licencse and will be on scooters. Also, there are many lodging companies that only run shuttle service in the winter. Steamboat needs to figure out how to utilize every shuttle service in town to its fullist pottential. Maybe a tax or gas break to any service going that extra mile to persuade guests to ride instead of drive and offering special services to and from large events such as the soccer tournament this past weekend... Maybe not over exploding the banks of Steamboat with more and more events every weekend of the summer causing more then double the poulation to come here at once would help.. lets also not forget that a major US Highway comes right through town adding plentty to the mix..

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Scott Wedel 5 months ago

A tax or gas break? Why? You love government regulations that much over the free market?

The shuttle company that provides a better service will be preferred by tourists. When there is enough demand for summer shuttles then it will be provided.

Thus, free market forces of competition applies to local shuttle services and there is no need for government intervention.

Government intervention is warranted when businesses can offload costs onto society such as not having to deal with the costs of their pollution. Such as fracking being allowed to inject their contaminated waste water back into the ground in such volume that in the wrong sort of geology in Oklahoma results in earthquakes.

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Cresean Sterne 5 months ago

Just trying to stir the pot a bit Scott, maybe my dry sense of humor doesnt go over very well... NO... I dont love government regulations over the free market, but I do disagree with you saying that there is not enough demand for more shuttle services within the lodging community. We had more then the population of Steamboat in town this weekend and lodging was full to capacity. Most of these people drive there vehicle 5 min to a ball field and park it most of the day. Maybe a speific shuttle service to and from our ballfields is something to seriously consider. Another problem is that most people just want to drive and not have to rely on anyone else. Maybe if the lodging companies reached some kind of rider quoata during specific times of the year they could get a gas break which may help them push shuttling more to their guests (wink..wink..).. Even better, take the shuttle then get a drink voucher to where your going. After all, it is Steamboat. I'm sure where ever you are going they got alcohol to sell ya..

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Scott Wedel 5 months ago

First, we didn't have more than the population of Steamboat visiting. Lodging index counts the total number of sleeping spots in rented units, not the number of people. So a two bedroom unit with a couch that is advertised as sleeping 6 counts as 6 even if occupied by two guys wanting their own bedroom. I think that best guess puts actual number of visitors at about 60% of the lodging index. And SB was hardly an intolerable mess last weekend. Okay, I did have to loop around once to find a parking spot at City Market.

Lodging index was developed not to count visitors, but to give restaurants a relative scale to help them correctly staff for the upcoming week.

I don't know why the paper continues to insist upon publishing the lodging index as numbers as visitors when their staff knows that is not the number of visitors.

Second, what incentive is there for tourists to not drive to a ball field when they can quickly find parking? A shuttle becomes an attractive option when there is no nearby parking available.

Third, what problem would be by solved by subsidizing shuttle service? A shuttle can increase traffic because after dropping off it leaves empty and then it returns empty to pick up passengers. If there was sufficient demand for shuttles by summer visitors then the management companies would offer them in a second. And I'm pretty sure I've seen summer shuttles dropping off and picking up at City Market.

Fourth, government should not do something merely because it can. If you create incentive then you cannot expect the situation to remain the same but with incentives. No, incentives affect basic business decisions and so incentives also can make it profitable to game the system at the taxpayer's expense. Give shuttles an incentive to pick up and drop off customers then suddenly you have shuttles moving people between Yampa and Lincoln.

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Cresean Sterne 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Well they put in the paper "14,000 people expected this weekend" not 14,000 sleeping spots. Also, I dont know wher you were but town was most definatly full. Ther was almost no vacancy to be had and I know that by working in the tourist industry. Also, if shuttling was done corrctly, there wouldnt be to many empty shuttles. They may not be full but would at least remove quite a few cars from town. I drive shuttle in this town for many many years and there are more eficient ways to keeping them full then what is being used.. I guess we will have to agree to disagree..

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Scott Wedel 4 months, 4 weeks ago

"Well they put in the paper "14,000 people expected this weekend" not 14,000 sleeping spots."

And so yes, the paper knowingly prints false information. And I know that for a fact because I know that the paper's editor knows they are saying "tourists" when what is actually being counted is "pillows".

Originally, the lodging index said it was counting "pillows" not "tourists". How it is calculated has not changed, but what it is claimed to be counting has changed. Scott Ford helped develop the lodging index and he tells me that it is not counting tourists, but pillows. He also told me that the number incorrectly being printed as tourists has caused issues for business managers. Such as the ski are management wondering why if there are 10,000 "visitors" in town some weekend during the winter then why are only a modest percentage of them skiing? The answer is, of course, there are not 10,000 visitors, probably closer to 6,000.

Why does the paper knowingly print false information? I suspect it is because the false information benefits the paper's attempt to sell advertising. The paper can then claim there are nearly twice as many tourists seeing ads than the accurate number.

I don't doubt that SB had few, if any vacancies last weekend. But what problems did that cause? Where was the gridlock? How many visitors missed their games because they couldn't find a parking spot?

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Cresean Sterne 4 months, 4 weeks ago

If the paper is misquoting or confusing the facts in such a way that is bennefitting them in advertisement sales, wouldnt that be an unethical way of doing business?? If so, wouldnt this violate a code of ethics?? If what you say is true then the paper has an obligation to explain the visitor numbers in layman's terms so there is no confusion. As of now, most believe what is posted about the visitor numbers. If what you are saying is true, then on average there were abut 7,000-9,000 visitors in town this past weekend. .....Hmmm......I gotta tell ya that living here most my life, it was pretty crazy down town. I could have walked from the health and rec to fart park then driven. Maybe not quite as crowded as some popular weekends when there is an event downtown but it was a good old fashion Wisconsin Dells out there.. By 1pm there was no parking to be had anywhere downtown or on the side streets and as far as I know, there was no event happening down town except for the farmers market. Almost everyone that came in said "they had never seen it this crowded here in the summer before." No exageration...

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jerry carlton 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Cresean You might as well have a discussion with a brick wall. A certain person who will remain unnamed does not care for the Pilot. I do not care for legal pot dealers. We all have our personal dislikes. It does not make any of us right or wrong.

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Karl Koehler 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm not a proponent of high speed rail (or medium or low speed for that matter) and think protagonists are hard pressed to demonstrate a sound economic model exists. But I do hate the traffic on the I-70 corridor and if metro dwellers could be forced into a mandatory use standard, I'd be all for it. Cap and trade anyone? On a more constructive note, I've always wondered why ski areas and the underlying tourism trades don't promote mid-week utilization of resorts more actively. You know, bargains for off-peak periods; maybe a "green" discount for Monday through Thursday type of thing.

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