Ann Holmes: Triathlon traffic a pain
August 19, 2013
I was very disappointed in the way traffic was stopped between 8:30 and 9:15 a.m. Aug. 18 along Colorado Highway 131 during the Steamboat Olympic Triathlon at Lake Catamount. More than 100 cars were stopped for more than 30 minutes as the bikers came out of Routt County Road 18 and then turned on Routt County Road 14E at Sidney Peaks. I understand that a little later, on their return down River Road and C.R. 14E, the bikers first turned west on Colo. 131 for a turnaround at C.R. 14 before returning to C.R. 18 to go back to Catamount.
That's interrupting traffic along more than a mile of a major commuting route for South Routt residents for most of two hours. I realize this was a Sunday morning, but many folks have commitments such as jobs at the hospital as well as church services. My husband and I missed a special reception at our church because of this.
As a retired teacher and avid biker myself, I appreciate others testing their skills in a race of this type. But there had been no warning, notice, signage before we all were stopped. As Routt County residents, my husband and I already have received reverse 911 calls about the upcoming USA ProChallenge Bike Race on Wednesday and Thursday. We also have been reading about that race and the many other bike-related events planned for this week in the Steamboat Today and The Denver Post. I checked the past several days of the Steamboat Today and found nothing about the Steamboat Olympic Triathlon other than a brief listing in Happenings.
We could have been alerted to this event with a number of possible ways and been able to adjust our travel times accordingly. With the absence of any other possible route into Steamboat, I think such notice would be mandatory. Such things as articles, notices, maps, advertising in the Steamboat Today, signs being put up along the route a couple days before and/or reverse 911 calls to South Routt residents should have been done. Perhaps all three. A brief listing in Happenings on Saturday and Sunday in the Steamboat Today simply is inadequate.
In the future, I would hope that organizers and promoters of such events would give us the courtesy and/or be required to provide such advance warning of road closures.