Speak up if stoplights drive you nuts | VailDaily.com

Speak up if stoplights drive you nuts

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY ” Ron Sills hates the recently installed stoplight at Stonebridge Drive and Highway 6. His wife, Patti Sills, likes it.

“She’s got one opinion, I got another ” I say yank that baby out,” said Sills, of Eagle-Vail.

Come September, the Sills and other locals can tell county engineers what speed limits, stoplights, stop signs, yield signs and other traffic signs they’d like to change on county roads, said county engineer Eva Wilson.

Engineers will gather the comments made by locals at http://www.eaglecounty.us for a year, she said. Then they will decide whether to change unpopular intersections, signs and speed limits, she said.

Stop signs and stoplights could be removed and speed limits could be lowered, she said.

“When the signs don’t make sense, people won’t follow them,” Wilson said. “So it becomes a safety issue.”

Like the Sills, locals don’t agree on traffic. Benji Fink, of Edwards, said the speed limit should be lowered from 55 to 45 miles per hour on Highway 6 between Edwards and Eagle-Vail because trucks loaded with gravel can’t stop as quickly.

County officials already have asked the Colorado Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit between Edwards and Eagle on Highway 6 and from 75 to 65 on Interstate 70, Wilson said.

The speed limit on Highway 6 in front of Riverwalk should be lowered, too, Fink said.

“They drive pretty fast through such a heavily populated area,” Fink said.

People should be able to drive faster, as long as they are focused, said Mary Bochain, of Avon.

Bochain pays her three daughters’ cell phone bills as long as they don’t chat while driving, Bochain said.

But her teen and two daughters in their early 20s sometimes flout Bochain’s “no tolerance policy.” Bochain has seen her daughters talking on their cell phones while driving through the middle of intersections, she said.

“I make sure they know I saw them,” Bochain said.

Stop lights are not popular with locals. The county should remove the light at Highway 6 in Edwards and build a roundabout, said Dina MacFarlane, of Eagle.

Except for signs around them, roundabouts are not part of the survey, Wilson said.

Fink said the lights on Highway 6 from Stonebridge Drive to Interstate 70 in Eagle-Vail should be timed differently because traffic backs up along under Interstate 70 even though “it’s not that much of an inconvenience,” Fink said.

Tony Scalzitti, of Chicago, was on vacation for a week in Eagle-Vail. A poorly placed stoplight was the farthest thing from his mind Tuesday afternoon. After all, it takes a half hour to go two miles in Chicago, he said.

“Traffic around here flows beautiful compared to home,” Scalzitti said.

Some residents aren’t worried about traffic signs.

“Actually, none of that stuff bothers me too much,” said Clay Burlingame, of Eagle-Vail.

If you are mad about a stop sign, you should probably see a psychologist, said Peter Clarke, of Eagle-Vail.

“I can’t think of a stop sign that annoys me,” Clarke said.

But Sills is tired of stopping. Avon should remove its stop signs near Beaver Liquors And plenty of other ones, too, Sills said.

“I disagree with a lot of them,” Sills said. “I think they put as much thought into it as a third grader.”

County officials don’t have the authority to remove signs like those, but they will forward those kinds of comments to the towns, Wilson said.

Drivers don’t stop at some of the stop signs in valley anyway, said Sarah Simmons, of Vail.

“It’s kind of like the California way ” no cop, no stop,” Simmons said.

Stop signs are not the culprit. Overpopulation in the valley is creating a lot of “frickin’ traffic,'” said Levi Klein, who has lived in the valley almost his whole life.

“Until the population stops growing they aren’t going to find too many solutions,” Klein said. “And we all know that’s not going to happen.”

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.

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