Picture from 1,000 words | VailDaily.com

Picture from 1,000 words

Don Rogers

Well, there’s always the good old-fashioned speed trap as revenue producer for a poor, cash-strapped municipality or state.

OK, that’s a fairly cynical view of a safety issue, and one all but universally shared by the leadfoots caught making the construction zone around the I-70 sinkhole a lot more dangerous.

The State Patrol reports writing over 1,000 speeding tickets at the site, and that motorists still don’t seem to be getting the message.

Flashing signs aren’t working. Neither is the heavy presence of troopers’ cruisers. Or even the hefty fines. Seems the only group paying attention – and slowing down – are the truck drivers.

Drivers are exasperated. After all, you actually have to pay attention to catch the drop in the speed limit from 65 to 35. Hmm, pay attention – isn’t that a hallmark of driving at any speed?

In construction zones, people put their lives at risk mere feet from those cars hurtling by. Even 35 mph is deadly if the construction folk aren’t attentive enough.

The idea is for drivers to understand they need to slow down. If the lesson helps the state’s bottom line in some small way, great. The real gain will be in that construction worker’s life potentially saved.

… all over again

Former Vail Mayor Rob Ford recalls that his councils of the mid-’90s also put the vitality of the town’s business community first, along with affordable housing, which rested at the top of concerns in the annual community survey.

The council set up the Vail Tomorrow process – essentially lots of discussions including community members. The Lionshead master plan was drawn up as part of the focus on perking up the economic engine of the town. And things stalled, from Ford’s perspective. Vail Resorts built a fancy hotel at Bachelor Gulch instead of Lionshead. The successors to his council developed Donovan Park and built an albatross of a pavilion when they might have stuck closer to the knitting that makes the town go first.

This recounting of Ford’s memory and vision is incomplete in these few sentences. It leaves out the Four Seasons on track now for Vail Village and the “renaissance” slowly grinding through the approval gantlet with the town for Lionshead and Vail Village, including that fancy hotel in Lionshead. It also skips over the adages about hindsight, in this case through a magnifying glass catching the full glare of the millennial downturn in the nation’s economy.

But it does at least brush at the point, which is that there’s more than a little deja vu in the current conversation. Maybe there’s a clue or two from the past. Couldn’t hurt to look.


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