Locals lament slow-pokes, speeders
EAGLE COUNTY – Most drivers think anyone going faster than them is a maniac, and anyone going slower is an idiot. Word on the street is Highway 6 between Avon and Edwards is full of both – with maybe an edge to the slower drivers.With a speed limit that starts at 45 mph in Avon and goes to 55 mph along the developments of Arrowhead, it may not be entirely clear to some drivers whether they’re on a country road or a highway. Posted speed limits aside, some locals say there’s no explaining traffic flow on that stretch of road.”You see people going really fast along there, and then you come across people driving 40,” said Toph Leonard, an Edwards resident who also owns The Kind Cyclist sports shop in the Riverwalk Center. “The other thing that’s a real problem is trucks jake-braking along there. It’s really loud.”Eagle County Engineer Helen Migchelbrink said she’s aware of the frustration drivers have along that stretch, but doubts much will change based on the formula used to set speed limits.
“If I were a betting woman, I’d guess that most people are driving faster than (the posted limit),” she said. The Colorado Department of Transportation, she added, bases limits on the speeds measured by 85 percent of drivers in a given area. There’s little doubt that increased development and population in the area has had an effect on traffic. Richard Thompson, another Edwards resident, watches it go by from his vantage point as an employee at Riverwalk Wine & Spirits.”You see people just rip through here sometimes,” Thompson said. “And you also see people blow right through the turn lane (at Highway 6 and Edwards Spur Rd.), causing accidents.”Thompson added that he’s seen traffic increase a great deal in the two-and-a-half years he’s been in Edwards. From his perspective, though, it’s not the cars on the highway causing all the trouble.
“The parking lot is the bigger issue,” he said. “I see more accidents out there than anywhere else.”While Thompson said he thinks some valet parking at the Riverwalk might help alleviate the situation, Leonard believes a roundabout at the Riverwalk/Highway 6 intersection would be a good idea.”I know it would be a hassle while it was under construction, but I think it could be a great thing,” Leonard said. “I just think we need some kind of pedestrian solution out there as well.”Back on the highway, Migchelbrink said the only way to change the limit would be to request a study from the department of transportation.
“I seriously doubt they’d change the limit for that category of highway,” she said, adding that it’s not a high accident area in the first place. “I think people are just frustrated by the slow-pokes.” Alex Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 615, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado