Vail Daily column: Round and round we spend |

Vail Daily column: Round and round we spend

Richard Carnes
My View

Vail did “it” first.

The year was 1995, if I remember correctly.

Avon was second in 1998, Edwards in 2009 and for the past six months Eagle has been busy creating their own.

Even Gypsum and Dotsero have big ones, and the planned for new-and-improved-Wolcott has a couple of “its” in their proposal for a few years from now.

And in a 2004 study produced by Felsburg, Holt & Ullevig, Eagle County paid an unknown amount to be told and confirmed that five of them would work wonderfully in Edwards, although they only ended up constructing the aforementioned four. (I still have the PDF file.)

(Note: The amount is “unknown” simply because I couldn’t find it on the Eagle County website and they were closed for the weekend by the time I got around to writing this, but I feel confident it was in the six-figure range.)

So why in the wide, wide world of bureaucratic government spending would we now waste another million dollars to “study and design” another possible roundabout at the red light in Edwards that has already been studied and designed?

I have your study for you right here:

Q: Is a roundabout needed at the intersection of the Edwards Spur Road and U.S. Highway 6?

A: Yes.

There, I just saved us a million bucks. (You can thank me later, perhaps at the Gore Range Brewery.)

As for the design part, well, it’s still the exact same four corners as it was in 2004, and I’m pretty sure the roundabout they wish to construct is still “round,” so nothing’s changed there.

Anyone remember the old four-way stop in Vail or the red light at the Boat Building in Avon? Of course you do, but perhaps I should have asked if anyone remembered them fondly.

“Well, no, Richard, now that you mention it, I do not remember either of those fondly in any way, shape or form.”

Thank you.

Anyone out there have any suggestions as to a better way for Eagle County and the Edwards Community Authority to spend half a million bucks? (We mustn’t forget CDOT is paying for the other half-million, but it’s still our tax dollars either way.)

Please feel free to share those suggestions on the Eagle County website, or better yet, share ’em with the rest of Happy Valley at If we work hard — together — I bet we can come up with something. Who knows, we might even not spend it at all. Save it for a rainy day and all that.

But either way, Eagle County’s long-range planner, Cliff Simonton, said in less than a decade that particular intersection would be at an official “Level F,” meaning we could all have the pleasure of sitting through two or three red light cycles before continuing on our merry way.

I suppose that would provide more time for checking emails and Facebook on our phones while wasting fossil fuels (those of you without electric vehicles), but seriously, Level “F”?

I’d say if we waste another cool million in tax dollars for something we paid for 10 years ago, we’re “F’d” enough already.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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