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Pedestrians in peril

Vail Daily Editorial
Vail CO, Colorado

Thank goodness for daylight savings time. With the longer evenings, drivers can see the people walking home along U.S. Highway 6.

The most crowded roadsides are on either side of the Beaver Creek roundabout, squarely in the town of Avon. Sometimes the people headed home to the large employee housing complexes in the area walk three or four abreast, straddling the lanes of traffic on the sometimes slippery sliver of pavement that has been allotted to them.

It’s hazardous enough this time of year when those pedestrians ” whom we assume are mostly locals getting off work ” are visible. But in the winter, these pedestrians pop out of the dark, whether they’re trying to cross the highway or just making their way up the shoulder. It can be scary, especially when one is more focused on road conditions and other drivers than on the edges of the highway.

If these stretches of road connected the mansions of Beaver Creek with fancy restaurants and shops, we bet they would be well-lit and safely separated from traffic. Local workers, however, are forced to walk in the dark with cars speeding by.

Eagle County, Avon and the Colorado Department of Transportation have the responsibility to put up streetlights and pave some type of separated sidewalk.

These may to some be signs of urbanization, but anyone who thinks this is still a quiet little string of mountain towns is lying to themselves.

Those stretches of road are heavily developed anyway ” with more buildings coming.

We shouldn’t sacrifice the safety of our neighbors to visions of a small town that no longer exists.

” Matt Zalaznick for the Editorial Board


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