County appoints new multi-modal members to a road committee

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— North Routt building contractor and bicyclist Bryan Heselbach and Tyler Jacobs, online development manager for the Steamboat Today and an avid runner, are the newest members of a committee that advises the Routt County Board of Commissioners on multiple use of the county road system.

The Multi-Modal Road Users Advisory Committee formed in 2009 to develop road standards supporting use of county roads by pedestrians, cyclists and horseback riders as well as motor vehicles.

Road and Bridge Supervisor Janet Hruby said Tuesday that the committee made recommendations to the commissioners on such qualities as road width, striping and signage that have been adopted into policy. In 2011, the multi-modal committee was drawn into the debate about the practical benefits of using the chip/seal method to maintain county roads to the detriment of the cycling surface.

The first assignment for the new members of the group likely will be to help promote safety on the roads.

“The committee members have shown an interest in continuing with safety education in 2014,” Hruby said.

Commissioner Steve Ivancie approved of that direction.

“That’s where I pay attention to this group,” Ivancie said. “Conflict resolution and sharing the road, given some of the incredible use we see on our roads in the spring and summer.”

Also appointed to continue on the committee are South Routt resident Steve Williams and Derek Hodson, representing bicycling business Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare.

A fifth seat, intended to represent West Routt, remains unfilled because of lack of interest. However, there were two additional candidates for the North Routt position. For that reason, all three commissioners, including Tim Corrigan and Doug Monger, told Hruby they tentatively are interested in revisiting the original resolution establishing the committee to provide for an alternate member who wouldn’t necessarily have to represent a region of the county or a users group.

“I’m a little distressed that we’re not appointing two people (from North Routt) when we have an opening in West Routt,” Monger said. “If people come in and want to participate,” the county should include them.

Jacobs replaces Leslie Lovejoy, and Heselbach replaces Lisa Barbour (both of the incumbents stepped down).

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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