Vail Daily letter: It’s only a matter of time
Yes, “it is only a matter of time before the present policy of frontage roads parking results in a significant injury” — quoting a recent Valley Voices column from the Vail Homeowners Association. This Labor Day weekend was the last straw for me — while driving west on the South Frontage Road from the main Vail roundabout, there, standing on a 18-inch median with cars whizzing by on each side, a dad carrying a toddler and a mom with a young child in hand trying to cross south to north!
The town of Vail must now flex its muscle to do something. My suggestion:
• Yellow flashing lights and 15 mph signage all along where frontage road parking is in play — similar to being in a school zone.
• Rumble strips under the white lines separating traffic from roadside parked cars.
• A number of temporary “this is a state law crossing” with the distinctive sign and some creative form of the panda strips where one is to cross.
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• A courtesy patrol person every so many yards (say 40?) to assist in parking and staying there till folks start to come back, likely very tired and/or with non-driver passengers who had been drinking.
• As each car is parked, the driver should be handed a “welcome to Vail” card highlighting the good things to do and a word about safety with roadside parking.
• Establish a time, specific to each overflow day, when drivers of cars parked on the road might consider moving to the “free after 3” parking structures — and include that suggested time in the “welcome to Vail” card. Again with courtesy patrol assistance to pull out and likely have to do a turn around. Clearly this would be a “hard sell” for restaurants and bars, but we better start “thinking outside the box” to solve the coming back to cars danger, especially after dark.
• Specific events that cause overflow parking need to “pony up” to staff such a courtesy patrol — clearly VR in the winter and a variety of event sponsors in the summer.
• The town’s Commission on Special Events needs to include at least one community at-large member with background and passion for safety issues, coupled with one public safety person from the town staff.