Albert Bekus: Breckenridge safety suffers from snowy sidewalks
On Feb. 16, I read the letter to the editor (“Breck snow removal lacking”) – which I assume was written by a Breckenridge resident. I totally agree with the writer’s assessment of the sidewalk conditions at that time. Perhaps as a visitor I have no right to comment, but perhaps the city officials might appreciate what a long-time visitor might have to say. I have been coming to Breckenridge to ski your wonderful mountains once or twice a year for at least the last 15 years. In fact, I will return in March for some great spring skiing. I am sure there are many others who look forward to returning to Breckenridge year after year. And this is the point of my letter.
It seems to me that keeping the sidewalks clean in town should be a major priority of the Breckenridge government (or perhaps the businesses themselves) There are at least three obvious and important reasons why:
1) Safety. While my wife and I were in town on the date mentioned above we saw a young man take a really nasty fall. He clearly hurt his right elbow and shoulder in that fall, which could have been easily avoided if the sidewalks were free of ice. My wife and I did not want to chance the danger, so we immediately decided to return to our lodging. I do not know if such an incident could warrant a lawsuit, but certainly the city could avoid the possibility by simply keeping the sidewalks safe.
2) Economics. My wife and had planned to eat dinner in town and then do some shopping – which we have always done in the past. I always manage to find something I need in the ski shops as my wife does in the jewelry shops. Not this trip. We did not go back to town for the remainder of our week’s stay. If there were even a few others who felt the same way we did, Breckenridge businesses were the real losers.
3) Reputation. Over the years Breckenridge has maintained a national reputation for its hospitality and friendliness – in addition to being a great ski resort. It seems ironic to me that something so basic as making the town’s sidewalks safe has been overlooked or neglected.
Interestingly, when we returned home, a non-skier friend of mine – who had the idea that skiing is really dangerous – asked me if we had made it home safely. I told him that we had a very safe trip. We just stayed out of town.
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