Routt County group plans road education effort
‘Share the road’ signs set to debut in ranch country
May 5, 2010
Steamboat Springs — If you find yourself traveling through Pleasant Valley on Routt County Road 18 this summer, there's a good chance you'll spy a bright green banner urging you to share the road. Don't be surprised if the banner is attached to a large round bale of hay or a barbed wire fence.
The Routt County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve a request from the Routt County Multi Modal Road Use Advisory Board to spend about $1,500 on a public education campaign intended to foster mutual respect among a variety of people who use county roads — from ranchers moving livestock, to construction trucks and bicyclists. They'll print posters, bumper stickers, bicycle helmet stickers and 10 large vinyl signs to help get the point across.
Pleasant Valley rancher Bill Gay, a member of the committee, has promised to hang one of the banners from a hay bale or fence line, fellow committee member Steve Williams said.
The Multi Modal Road Use Advisory Board was created to research issues and provide recommendations to the commissioners about transportation issues including signage, parking, road striping, and road maintenance and brooming policies.
"We thought an educational campaign would be one of the least expensive things we could do, and make a good start for our group," board member Derek Hodson said.
All of the printed pieces being contemplated by the board feature a diamond-shaped logo with images of cattle, a runner, an automobile and a cyclist grouped around the bolded words "Share the road."
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The bumper stickers, signs and posters designed for window display also urge all residents and visitors to obey all laws, signs and traffic signals, no matter what form of transportation or recreation they are using.
The commissioners made certain in October 2009, when they voted to create the board, that its membership would have broad representation. They specified that four representatives would be from north, west and south Routt, as well as from Steamboat.
They also required that six more members of the board be representatives of agriculture, cycling, construction and trucking industries, a bicycle company and, finally, someone representing pedestrians and runners. Hodson is the designated bike shop employee on the board.
The group was formed about two months after a new Colorado bicycle safety law went into effect in August 2009.
The law requires drivers to give cyclists at least 3 feet of clearance when passing them and allows motorists to cross the centerline to accomplish that.
It also requires cyclists to ride as far to the right as they can and still be safe.
Road and Bridge Supervisor Paul Draper said Monday that he's pleased at the diversity of the board's makeup and the cooperative spirit of its meetings.
"We've had positive buy-in from everyone involved," Williams said.
Board member Lisa Barbour said members of the public can learn more about the board's activities and view the new "Share the Road" logos at the Spring Bike Fest from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Olympian Hall.
— To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail email@example.com