Why does the city insist on having two lanes on the one-way portion of Main Avenue through Rio Grande Land and past the train station? The road paint has faded, and it’s scary this time of year. As someone who drives this stretch almost daily, I either have to stay well behind or well ahead of any car for fear of swerving, especially at the corner, where Main becomes Fifth Street. Not even locals can pick a lane and stay in it. Let’s make this section of road into one lane instead of two. – Dumbfounded Defensive Driver
Anyone navigating the southern end of town faces numerous perils.
To your left, keep an eye out for overly caffeinated Starbucks patrons darting nervously into traffic, clutching costly caloric coffee concoctions.
On the right, beware of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory customers with impaired judgment caused by the massive sugar buzz from eating a half-pound of fudge and an almond cluster in one sitting.
Then there are hordes of zombie-like train riders spilling out of the depot, all of them starving and on a mission to obtain food, whether it’s a greasy burger or some brains.
And top that off with 45-degree parking on both sides of the street, creating blind spots for everyone pulling out.
Abandon all hope all ye who enter here. At least for the next month or two.
The city repaints downtown’s lane markings prior to Memorial Day, so that will help. But don’t expect a June wedding in which two lanes become one.
Action Line combed through the City Council agendas, and there is nothing about reconfiguring Main Avenue in Rio Grande Land.
But we could certainly bring it up, preferably in a friendly environment. After all, dealing with Durango’s Really Important Issues is so darn stressful for all concerned.
City Council and residents could meet in a restful, neutral gathering place. Why not convene a study session on benches in the shade?
Action Line knows the perfect spot: outside Francisco’s.
We could all meet under the portico and calmly discuss how sometimes the solutions for Durango’s Really Important Issues are to simply leave things as they are.
H H H Last week’s column on the bumper ponderosa pinecone crop resulted in another really big cone.
But it’s not a pinecone. It’s a cone-shaped cap with the word “Dunce” on it. Action Line is sitting in the corner wearing that shameful chapeau. Here’s why:
The cones on a ponderosa take two years to mature. So last summer’s moisture had only a minor, if any, influence on the prodigious number of cones.
We’re reminded of this fact by our good friend Jeff Wagner, who is one of the keenest plantsmen anywhere.
Jeff had to needle Action Line about missing the pine forest for the evergreen trees.
“Everyone you quoted ignores the basic biology of most gymnosperms, especially pronounced in pines, which is that their female cones take more than one year to mature,” Jeff points out.
“Ponderosas take two years, and that means the 2015 cone crop is from 2013, not last year.”
The snow and rains of 2014 may have helped a wee bit, Jeff said, “but all of the cones that have been spreading seed since last fall are 2 years old.”
Good timing may have contributed.
“Also, as with many trees, it’s common for ponderosas to bear heavily in some years and then not much at all. Their cycle is about every five years between heavy seed crops,” Jeff added.
“My old plant teacher in horticultural college used to joke that pines got fertilized and then had to wait two years to find out if they were pregnant.”
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you’ve ever seen a tourist exit the parking lot across from the train station and drive the wrong way north up the block to College Drive.