Steve Dean: Lax traffic rules in Breck
I found it interesting that no less than three articles in Sunday’s SDN made reference to the ridiculous driving and parking antics occurring of late in and around Breckenridge … and apparently being allowed by the town’s fine elected officials and the Breckenridge Police.
In “Summit Up,” a facetious yet all-too-real reference was made to the “Dumbest Driving and/or Parking Maneuver in Breckenridge by a Non-Resident” for 2009 (has it become “The Land of The U Turn”?). Loren Lathrop posted a not so facetious opinion article detailing a harrowing experience with the driver of an out-of-state white Ford truck attempting to steal his (her?) parking space, swerving/turning with no forewarning (can you spell (and use!) blinkers?), culminating in a tailgating road rage incident with flashing lights. And even the esteemed Councilman extraordinaire Jeffrey Bergeron (Biff America) chimed in with a tale of forgetting his mail and referencing the difficulties and patience required while driving around a resort community during the holiday season. Could it be that these three contributors and myself are the only local residents that are concerned (and getting somewhat fed up) with the apparent lack of enforcement by the town and the Breckenridge Police?
I think not!
So lets think about it for a moment. Is it really the out of town “visitors who are unfamiliar with the environment and road conditions” as Biff postures … or is it the 20 percent (the old 80/20 Rule applies here) who choose to simply ignore standard rules of the road, traditional driving courtesies as well as posted speed and parking signage while in town, knowing there is little enforcement or simply not caring as they’ve gotten away with it before. My sense is it’s the latter. And as long as the town and the Breckenridge Police continue their lenient ways, ever hesitant to offend the visiting tourist, things will continue as is and perhaps get worse. After all, even the youngest of children quickly learn they can get away with whatever is and has been condoned by those charged with their adult supervision. a.k.a. – you will get the behavior you allow and ask for.
So some suggestions for our elected officials and local authorities to consider … “police ’em!” … plain and simple! Post a uniformed Officer in the parking lot at City Market at key times throughout the week to keep traffic moving, to hustle along those “special people” who think they can park/stand in handicap and fire lane only spaces (not to mention the numerous ski/snowboarders who park elsewhere in the lot for the day!).
If drivers are in violation of speeding, parking and various other infractions around town issue them a citation. In fact, if they are in a legal parking space but have overstayed their allotted time (3 hours), ticket them. If they are in a non-authorized space, tow them. Yes, I am suggesting they be towed away. Create a fenced-in “Impound Lot” on the property on Airport Road and tow them, charging them the tow fee, an impound fee as well as a parking violation fee. I’m betting the local tow truck companies would surely love the “extra work” and, given the present constraints on the Town budget, the “extra cash flow” could only help.
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