Dear Action Line: Why is there a flashing stop sign at East Fourth Avenue and Eighth Street? It is powered by a solar panel but blocked by a large tree. Is this going to be the new normal in Durango, or just when the need arises? I think a metal arm out to the street would be cheaper and less expensive to maintain. – Stop With A Cop
Dear Stop: The flashing stop sign was installed after traffic studies showed there was a “moderate” accident history at the intersection, said Mike Somsen, street superintendent for the city.
“Removing the tree was discussed and the decision was made to save the tree and look for other ideas that would improve the visibility of the stop sign,” he said.
The city’s engineering department decided to install the flashing stop sign, and so far, that seems to have improved the safety of the intersection, he said.
Flashing signs are not going to be the new normal in Durango.
“We only put up new signs that are only really needed,” Somsen said. “Most sign requests don’t happen because there is not enough justification to move forward with the installation.”
The city has 5,614 signs, each of which comes with a yearly cost for maintenance and replacement. With so many signs, Durango suffers from sign pollution, he said.
“There are so many signs no one pays attention to any of them,” Somsen said.
Only a qualified engineer can decide which modifications are best for a sign; which is probably why a metal arm extending out into the street was not installed: It would probably “bonk” a lot of passing bicyclists on the head. In addition to the cyclists’ pain, neighbors would also suffer by having to listen to an ongoing “Bonk!” followed by expletives throughout the night.
Dear Action Line: Why doesn’t The Durango Herald publish the national sports lineup? Are they trying to save money or protesting national sports? We need football, baseball, tennis, golf, hockey and even soccer lineups. To not print the schedule we need is, well, non AMEICAN. – Bob Battani
Dear Bob: The Herald’s sports desk is a one-man show run by John Livingston. Deciding which sports results to run in the newspaper is not easy, but local sports always take priority over national, he said.
There is a huge amount of local coverage needed, and even though national sports schedules are not in the Herald these days, that information is only a click away on television or a Google search away on the internet.
“My focus will be to continue to highlight the great accomplishments of our local athletes and to provide our loyal readers first-class journalism about stories that matter most to our community,” Livingston said.
Sounds pretty “Ameican” to me (I hope you intentionally misspelled “Ameican” Bob, because you were being ironic. Apologies if not).
Dear Action Line: Why are there turkey vultures in Fassbinder Park? – Bird Lady
Dear Lady: Joe Lewandowski, spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said if you send a photo of the bird to email@example.com, he will be happy to check it out.
Otherwise, Lewandowski said he was not sure where Fassbinder Park was and he didn’t have time to make a field trip, but he also said he was feeling grouchy. Action Line asked if he was feeling grouchy because idiots were still hitting golf balls at his townhome complex (Herald story Sept. 6 on Page 3A).
He said people were, but he took the cops to the spot after he left a note for the offenders. Action Line asked him what the note said, and, per Joe, “You (people) broke a window in my building below. Are you trying to kill somebody?”
Lewandowski said he was going to do some patrolling and asked if Action Line wanted to join. Action Line declined.
Dear Action Line: The updated infographic published by San Juan Basin Public Health on its website is cramming so much COVID-19 information onto one graph it is hard to read and even misleading. To the health department I say: Keep the new chart if you must, but please bring back the old one, too. – Margaret Patterson
Dear Margaret: Claire Ninde, spokeswoman for the health department, said she would have the person responsible for the graphic take a look at the data to see how to make it easier to read.
Email questions and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. Action Line thinks that tree at East Fourth Avenue and Eighth Street should be chopped to tiny bits because years ago someone ran the sign and caused an accident that sent Little Action Line to the hospital. She’s OK, but that tree is evil.
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