Summit Daily letters: Breckenridge traffic snarls caused by pedestrians
November 21, 2016
Breckenridge traffic snarls caused by pedestrians
This is my first-ever note to the editor — oddly, it's about traffic in Breckenridge. Because I live south of Breck and often work north of town, I consider myself an expert on how best to avoid traffic — if that's possible. It also makes me an expert on what causes those horrific jams coming into town. In one word, bullnoses. Yes, bullnoses. Those fancy out-juts at the corners that help make it easier for pedestrians — but took away the right-hand turn lanes.
So, what does that have to do with anything, you might ask? Well, when a driver is on Main Street going either north or south at the intersection of say Main and Ski Hill Road/ Lincoln (which is another story!), when the light turns green to allow Main Street traffic to move, it also allows the pedestrians to cross the side streets. Often times, there are many slow-moving pedestrians who barely make it across before the light turns red.
If one car needs to turn right, they do it after the pedestrians clear the intersection — usually after the light has turned red. Thus, one car has advanced through the intersection. The traffic piles up and up.
I maintain this is as big a contributor to horrific traffic, as people circling the blocks while looking for a parking space.
How to fix it? Get rid of the bullnoses, and reinstate the right turn lanes (which would wreak havoc with the bike-friendliness of the town), or give pedestrians their own light — let them cross north, south, east, west and diagonally. Get them through the intersection, so the traffic can flow more smoothly, both in and out of town. That is just one example of pedestrians as "cause." Let's not institute another study, just take a drive through Breckenridge some Saturday afternoon, look around — you'll certainly be going slow enough — and make common sense adjustments.
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Everyone would be so much more relaxed.
Unleashed dog a bad example
I am a dog lover and walk my dog on a leash daily, most often in Breckenridge on the Riverwalk or Silverthorne on the North Pond Trail. I simply cannot believe that the Summit Daily chose to publish a picture of a large dog on a narrow trail, off leash, with neither owner with a leash in hand. These are dogs, and as friendly as these dogs may be, it is awful to encounter on the trail when the owner has no leash. I can tell you that every day I encounter a situation similar to this and in most cases it is ugly. Feature walking your dog or puppy on leash and you encounter this large dog out in front of its owners with no leash. As owners, they should call the dog back when they see approaching people and pets and simply put the dog on a leash until you pass.
It doesn't happen. Look at the trail in the picture. It is narrow and the owners have no way of controlling the dog. People with children, small pets or big pets approaching have no idea that the dog is friendly or will be under control by voice command. Again, I love dogs … but this situation is absolutely unacceptable. As you said in the article on page 15, "have respect for the other person trying to enjoy themselves on public land." I have had dogs run right up to my puppy who I keep on a leash and the owners are yelling at their dog who ignores the command. I have had dogs run across the river at the Riverwalk in Breckenridge and attack or they are very aggressive and the owners have no control. I have at times on public trails been forced to carry a baseball bat to protect myself or my dog. Your picture on the front page is simply a poor example to all of us who live in the High Country and wish to enjoy the beautiful trail system.