Historical society pleading for protection of road race event
SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit Historical Society members asked the county commissioners Monday to help keep one of its new events going.
Commissioners last month asked a committee creating new policies for special events to ban two-lane road closures on arterial roads. Those roads include Swan Mountain Road, the Dillon Dam Road and County Road 30, which leads from Highway 9 to Heeney.
That policy will put the kibosh on the Summit Historics road race, an event that came to life last summer. During the August event, which benefitted the Summit Historical Society, classic cars held time trials on Swan Mountain Road. During those trials, Swan Mountain Road was closed in both directions for portions of a Saturday and a Sunday.
Other events, such as the Courage Classic, the Maverick Sports Promotions road bike time trial series and the Triple Bypass, closed one lane of Swan Mountain Road and the Dillon Dam Road at various times last summer.
Summit Historical Society members admitted there were glitches during the August event but said they have a plan to alleviate the traffic problems at Highway 9. Traffic would endure only intermittent delays during the event, according to a letter society members wrote to the commissioners. They also said the event was an economic boon for the county.
But Commissioner Gary Lindstrom said he wasn’t swayed by the presentation.
“I haven’t changed my mind,” he said. “I just think there are better places to hold an event like that. If it’s so popular and wonderful, people ought to be falling all over themselves to get it in their community.”
Commissioner Bill Wallace, however, said he hopes a compromise can be reached.
“I think they make some good points,” he said. “I think it could be evaluated. I would like to say they could close traffic in both directions for 10 to 15 minutes, and for any minutes over 15, they’re fined $15 a minute or $100 a minute. They would also need signs posted on the interstate (about the road closure), at the Frisco exit and in Dillon. Last year, they had an 11-inch-by-14-inch placard with lettering so small you couldn’t even read it placed right at the Swan Mountain intersection. What they did last year did not work at all, but I’m not sure there’s some compromise.
“But I also agree with Gary and (Commissioner) Tom (Long),” he said. “Once you say yes, at what point do you say no? It does make some sense to say absolutely no road closures whatsoever.”
The committee creating the policies expects to come back before the board with a final draft and a request for the commissioners to adopt the policies before the end of the year.
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