Would a highway bypass of downtown Steamboat Springs ease traffic congestion?

Yes 445 votes


No 154 votes


599 total votes


turnerkat 9 years, 6 months ago

Posting from Wood River Valley, Idaho, and it's been years since I've been in Steamboat. Is there still only a two lane road through town or has it been expanded to four? Wondering if Steamboat is interested in maintaining the qualities of a walkable community (such as Dan Burden proposes nationally) or if just getting cars around is more important. Looking for comparisons between Steamboat and Sun Valley. Curious to know if Steamboat has the kind of traffic snarls that our highway 75 sees every morning as about 2000 cars stream north from less expensive real estate to jobs, skiing, shopping. Turnerkat from Idaho


living42day 9 years, 6 months ago

although I personally don't think a bypass is the solution, the timeing is now to talk about it as a community. Everyone agrees that the annexation of the 700 acres west of the city is what is driving the need for this. they should pay for it and it needs to be included in the annexation agreement before it is annexed. Those of us that already live here should not have to pay for the growth impacts of the annexation.


Malcolm_Reynolds 9 years, 6 months ago

A bypass would help the persons traveling from West Steamboat, Hayden, North Routt & Craig to get to the south side of the city and points beyond. Some of the comments about using the transit system are great ideas, but I don't need to park my vehicle on the west side and pickup my other extra vehicle on the south side to travel to Denver. OR Make the bypass a local only Parkway without development and the tourists will drive thru downtown to stop and shop. Then the working people can get to their jobs faster.


retiredinss 9 years, 6 months ago

This is another issue which Vision 2030 can help with. Those of you interested in improving the future transportation through / around the town, as well as in the valley in general, should consider getting involved. Look at their website.


corduroy 9 years, 6 months ago

since a lot of us work in town, its still going to be rush hour traffic. It's never going to be as bad as a city like Denver or NYC. People here just aren't used to it. Just leave a few more minutes earlier than you think you need to :)


madmoores 9 years, 6 months ago

I don't live in SB but I do work there and I had an idea that has not been suggested yet...to my knowledge. It may sound silly but why not build a couple parking garages in town and eliminate the parking lane(s) along the U.S. Hwy. 40 corridor through town? How many cars actually can park along that stretch, 100, 120? Something a multi-tier parking facility could easily handle, say, built in the useless lot at 8th and Oak st. This would add a third "tourist & bus" lane and two regular driving lanes to accomodate more traffic AND you could charge a parking fee to finance the structure. A bypass is not always the solution as Craig has a one around 75% of the city and it has not made one bit of difference. Big rigs still tear through town all the same as if we never even had it at all and tourists would rather go through town instead of around it. No reason for some ugly elevated platform or a bore through the center of town just so a select few can get to work quicker. That would ruin the natural beauty of Steamboat, or whatever is left of it. Just a thought...


Jennifer Lowe 9 years, 6 months ago

This bypass idea came up years ago when the consultant from Boulder was here to propose a three phase transportation plan (phase three being a bypass road). He talked about the potential for development west of Steamboat and how that would create traffic issues in the future. I asked if the traffic from the amount of growth he was talking about would be accommodated by a bypass and he flat outright stated, "No." So why build it? It won't do the job in the long run - perhaps it will ease traffic somewhat for a couple of years, but then what? We need to be a little more forward thinking than, "let's build another road." It won't solve the issue and it will diminish the beauty and (if the Howelson option is chosen) it will become a safety issue, will displace residents of Brooklyn, and will have serious ecological impacts on the river corridor.


colobob 9 years, 6 months ago

The only thing that the bypass will do is to further accelerate the current building boom by opening up land that was previously inaccessable to motorized traffic. Whenever a road is put in place developement isn't far behind. I applaud the gentleman that owns the 1200 acres up there for being against the proposal. It would be very easy for him to succum to the idea of development and just sit back and make a killing selling off his property. What a terrible thing it would be to do to the oldest continuous ski area in Colorado and the only ski area in the state that is registered as a historic place. Then again history and tradition mean absolutely nothing to some folks. There has to be better idea(s) than this one!


skiday11 9 years, 6 months ago

This development proposal is out of control. It's a simple fact that the valley cannot support the amount of population the development will bring. There are not practical ways to deal with traffic issues. The town's main road structure (and the whole town for that matter) was designed for a small population and the town has already grown to where it is dysfunctional and annoying.

Even the consideration of the impractical idea of building a highway through the mountain that gives Steamboat its fame (the prestigious label of "Ski Town USA") and so much of its beauty should be absolutely unacceptable. If it means anything to us as a community, there should be fierce opposition to that idea. The ability to create sensible support for this new development should determine what it is going to be, or if it is going to be. If a Howelson bypass or a similar nonsense idea is considered the only option for traffic relief, then this development should not happen at all. An idea like this shows that these developers couldn't care any less about our community's character and that they will not sacrifice their money for the good of it.


thecondoguy1 9 years, 6 months ago

I think 20 mile road should be the bypass.............


retiredinss 9 years, 6 months ago

I've made the suggestion previously elsewhere, and make it again, here. This is a problem that Vision 2030 ought to be looking at. Those of you in this forum interested in the transportation problems / by-pass / growth effects on SS should get involved in Vision 2030. I challenge you to do more than simply talk about the problems facing our valley!


jim_kook 9 years, 5 months ago

I think madmoores idea is a good one, but the visual impacts would be a huge drawback to some, think about the historic homes preservation debate. a concrete parking structure would be too raw for residents to support, but the centralized location and current use as parking already makes it ideal. Throw up a couple of signs with spurs on them and "parking" on it and then let everyone complain about oak street traffic!


SangriaMama 9 years, 5 months ago

We cannot sit with our heads in the sand ignoring the FACT that traffic is ruining our town. How can we ever have a revitalized downtown, that so many local businesses are working to save, if it is choked by heavy traffic that makes the idea of sitting outside intolerable. Heavy trucks thundering through town are a relentless nightmare.

The traffic seems to have gotten worse in only the last few years. An updated traffic study is needed. The west of Steamboat annexation is a new concern and even 5 years ago Steamboat was growing at a modest pace (compared with now). We need to make an informed decision and we need to accept that if the downtown is to be saved it will require compromise and sacrifice and bold political will.

The multi-modal ideas sound great on paper but they just don't work in this country. People will not drive buses unless it really suits them to.


skitownpuppet 9 years, 5 months ago

Anyone who thinks stopping or slowing growth in Steamboat is a good idea or going to happen may as well move now. We are a mountain town owned by a corporate giant. This is the newest, latest and greatest aquisition for Fortress and they intend on exploiting our ski mtn, town and valley to make hundreds of millions over the next decade. Steamboat 700 is another example of a freight train that has already left the station. Remember, STeamboat 700 was slated to happen over ten years ago. Growth and development is inevitable so quit complaining about it, realize it is here, is happening and going to happen. Buy what you can now before you end up in Craig for the rest of your days and commuting like all the folks stuck in Gypsum, Eagle and Leadville who work in Vail. Make a difference and get involved in what is happening and going to happen vs. complaining about how things should or used to be. Baby boomers are coming, lift ticket prices are going up and the Ritz Carlton is coming to the ski base area.
Hayden and Oak Creek leave it up to Steamboat to provide affordable housing and inclusionary zoning instead of providing even more affordable housing in their respective communities. The coun ty commisioners won't open up new gravel pits so trucks have to go through downtown all day long so you can't even eat lunch on the sidewalk or talk to your kids. Every single issue is attatched to the other so to blame it own growth and development is BS. We all count on tax dollars for the new librabry, schools, Comm Center, Hot Springs pool addition, Rec Center, etc. Wake up!!!!!!!! Growth is here to stay so lets make sure it takes us where we we need to go as a community and stop thinking it is developers who ruin everything. We are all in this together.


Oscar 9 years, 5 months ago

A lot of the rush hour congestion on Hwy 40 west of town could be allieviated by simply adding another 30 seconds to the green light for Hwy 40 between the hours of 5 & 6 PM. It's a simple procedure and can be easily automated.


jmemcse 9 years, 5 months ago

It might end up being 20 years in the future, but sooner or later a bypass will have to be built. I've lived here since the 70's, and it pains me to see what has become of this valley, but you just can't stop progress in a place as cool as Steamboat.

BTW, I just went back to the east coast for a visit and now the traffic/tourist's don't seem so bad to me.....

Party On


Matthew Stoddard 9 years, 5 months ago

Oscar has a good point. I've also noticed that the light by the Art in the Parking Lot seems to go on a timer now instead of by vehicle coming out of that parking area. I get stopped there more in the last 2 months than ever before. There's never a vehicle or person pressing the crosswalk button, either.


suttonwd 9 years, 5 months ago

Traffic is horrible and this will help! BTW I grew up in Denver and this is worse than that. It seems like everyones brains are in a constant stat of vacation. The locals need somewhere to get around all of this.


skiday11 9 years, 5 months ago

But what??? How can growth be here to stay? It has to stop sometime. It really doesn't make any sense when you think about it. It can't grow forever. When is the stopping point going to be -when every single valley acre of land is used? It's very easy to just let things happen, isn't it? It's easy to turn a negative idea into a positive one through pure laziness and hopelessness. It makes everything so blissful. I'm still very, very young....and I will be very wealthy and powerful one day..... These things will not happen when I am king of the world. I will use all of my energy, wealth, and power to stop these giants -not contribute to their wealth like so many robotic humans. Crazy ignorant mindless bacteria!!!! (no, not you)

Anyway, it's as much of a community problem as it is a world problem, and it's the first time I've been personally and emotionally hurt by it. The leadership and planning in this community is pathetic and sad. It seems like they're in dire need of assistance..........


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