Vail Daily letter: Seeking an explanation |

Vail Daily letter: Seeking an explanation

I’ve been living under a rock for the past six months, so it’s no surprise I missed the town of Vail’s explanation for installing cement barricades next to the fast lane through the I-70 corridor. Those of us who have lived in the valley for a while have fond memories of this time a year, taking bets on who’ll be the first of us to lose control of our vehicle, barrel-rolling onto the grass median. After all, that’s what it’s for, isn’t it? Apparently not. At least not this year.

I drive past the barricades every day, so I try to imagine why the pristine beauty of grass is being replaced by cement. Of course it would be easier if I just called the town’s offices for the real reason, but where’s the fun in that? So, instead, I’ve come up with the following possible justifications.

The first one I came up with has been around since the end of World War II: Put people to work. As soon as they’ve finished lining the entire median from one end to the other, it’ll be time to take them down, creating hundreds of jobs. Another reason could be isolating disabled vehicles from oncoming traffic, like gutter balls in a bowling alley. Snowplows would be equipped with extra-large blades, pitching the riff-raff along with the dirty snow high onto the median. The remains would be carted away by idle Flight for Life helicopters in between runs to Denver.

Then, I noticed that in addition to the barricades, the median is being graded. This was a huge clue. The median is being slated to become a high-speed autobahn to Denver, complete with banked turns. But, it couldn’t be that. It makes too much sense. Instead, the median is probably being prepped for bleachers, where Vail Resorts will sell tickets to our visiting guests to enjoy watching motorists compete with other to be the first one home after a day of skiing. Fans might place bets on the first tow truck drivers to arrive on the scene. Or, local restaurateurs might use the median as a “feed zone” like in the Tour de France. Instead of taking time to stop for dinner, exhausted motorists would just stick their hands out to grab a bag on the fly.

Of course, I doubt they’re installing the cement barriers for any of those reasons. Does anyone out there know?

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Allen Smith

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