Along Colorado Highway 3, just past Sonic, an RC Cola delivery truck and a Shamrock Foods semi-trailer are using the west side of the road for long-term parking and storage. Then theres a furniture delivery truck that parks on 14th Street despite ample parking in its stores lot. (I think theyre using the truck as a billboard.) The final straw: I saw an old school bus with a forklift attached to its back end. That doesnt seem safe at all. Is it me or is there an abundance of large rogue vehicles in town? R. the Observer
Durango, being a crossroads town, certainly sees its share of motorized curiosities.
Durango, being Durango, certainly tolerates, if not encourages, vehicular diversity.
But there are boundaries, and Action Line had been keeping an eye on the Highway 3 situation after a reader expressed similar concerns about the beverage truck parked at the city limits.
Because the truck never moved, the reader asked if RC Cola was the official sponsor of inappropriate and ugly welcome to town sculptures.
A week later, the Shamrock trailer showed up. No cab, just the trailer. Dropped off on the side of the road. And its generator was going, presumably to cool the contents.
Not good, Action Line said to himself while reconnoitering the site. I betcha someones already complained.
Sure enough, last week, the RC truck was tagged and the Shamrock trailer was nowhere to be seen. So much for the Highway 3 Rogue Truck Stop and Storage Yard.
As for the furniture truck, its a subjective situation.
Section 24-52 of the city code reads: No person shall park a vehicle upon the public right of way for the principal purpose of displaying advertising or other profit-making activities.
Maybe the truck is just creating more close-in parking for customers. Maybe there was no parking available in the lot when the truck returned from a delivery.
Or maybe someones trying to pull a fast one. That would be rogue.
But given the slow economy, Action Line will err on the side of creative economic development.
Besides, local government has more important things to do than determine the intent of truck-parkers.
As for that weird old school bus, Action Line drove around town several times looking for weird old school buses.
Durango is filled with weird old school buses.
However, instead of a forklift on the back, these buses featured squeaky trailers stacked with rafts.
Are these buses rogue?
If this were Chicago, Los Angeles or Philadelphia, you bet! An old school bus hauling bulky rubber objects would certainly create a hullabaloo.
But not in Durango. Such a sight is perfectly normal and a much-welcome indicator of a strong tourism season.
So has anyone seen this forklift-toting school bus? Perhaps the guy was on his way to the 32nd Street put-in to see if one could raft the Animas with heavy equipment.
This wasnt likely, as the floating Mounties have yet to receive reports of a waterborne forklift.
And considering the citys response to foreign matter in the river, a sunken forklift probably wouldnt be cause for alarm anyway.
A worker would attempt to get it out, give up, not call anyone and just leave the forklift in the river over the weekend.
Going rogue in Durango is going to take more than dubious commercial parking or ill-placed industrial equipment.
In Durango, we dont give a second glance to that maroon street-legal golf cart or to absurdly jacked-up pickup trucks or cars worth no more than $750 carrying bikes worth well more than $7,500.
These arent rogue by any stretch of the imagination.
Mrs. Action Line even saw a Ford Fiesta with a portable air-conditioning unit screwed to its roof and powered with an inverter plugged into the cigarette lighter.
Instead of being irritated by such a kludge, she just rolled her eyes and chuckled.
Thats the great thing about Mrs. Action Line. She never experiences rogue rage.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you see nothing rogue about using the back of your car as a dog kennel.