Daily Editorial: We all need space
Vail CO, Colorado
The shoulders of Highway 6 will be widened between Edwards and Eagle to make more room from cyclists. Work will begin in May in Eagle, and continue down the 14-mile stretch considered by bicyclists to be among the most perilous places to ride in the region because cars barrel so closely past their pedals.
This should come as a relief to drivers, too, most whom we’ll presume aren’t eager to run over a cyclist ” many drivers are, after all, cyclists themselves. And the county deserves a lot of credit for spending money on a project that will truly improve the lives of our fitness-crazy residents.
But the work also raises the specter of a big problem. We’re getting awful crowded in this valley. In the coming years, there will only be more cars (including a lot of hybrids and electric vehicles, hopefully) and more bicyclists and pedestrians who want to share the road safely.
While the Edwards-Eagle stretch earns the most ire from bicyclists, the stretch from Edwards to the east toward Dowd Junction, despite bike paths in the area, is also dicey.
Highway 6 past Arrowhead is cramped with bikes and cars because joggers take up the rec path. One of the scariest spots is that winding incline between Arrowhead and Avon that sometimes has to accommodate two lanes of traffic, bikers riding two- or three-abreast and the parked Jeep of a fisherman who’s hiked down to the river.
The highway between the two Beaver Creek parking lots is not only narrow, but also dark. Pedestrians have to be aware that they simply can’t be seen by drivers zooming past at 45 m.p.h.
The county, state Department of Transportation and the towns should start planning now to make more space for everyone because driving is a fact of life, cycling is a big part of our quality of life and some folks have no choice but to walk to work and play.
And there will only be more of us.
” Matt Zalaznick for the Editorial Board