Why can't the city make the intersection of East Second Avenue and Eighth Street a four-way stop? It's a particularly
dangerous intersection, given the location of the Durango Arts Center, which offers numerous children's programs, and
the number of families who dine at Steamworks. Just trying to save the city a lawsuit and some children their lives.
East Second Avenue has become a veritable freeway in downtown Durango. - Chris A.
Here's the ironic thing. East Second Avenue was set up many years ago as a freeway," in this case, freeway" meaning a
street where nondowntown traffic could flow freely without the stop-and-go of Main Avenue.
Times change, of course, and the city wants to protect pedestrians. But it also must balance that with protecting
motorists and keeping vehicles moving.
Stop signs back up traffic, and we try to avoid this on major streets," said city engineer Gregg Boysen. That's why
we don't put up stop signs willy-nilly."
Other city departments might engage in a certain amount of willy-nilliness, but not engineering.
Any time a resident suggests the need for a new stop sign, the engineer's department completes a traffic count and
safety study to see if a control device is warranted, Boysen said.
So how does one request a study? It's easy. Just call the city engineer's office and ask for one. Boysen said you'll
need to describe the problem and situation.
We haven't had a request to study that intersection, but we can certainly look into it if someone requests it," Boysen
To be honest, Action Line never has had an issue with that intersection, so your personal advocacy here would have more
The intersection on Action Line's hit list is Eighth and East Third, where Mrs. Action Line almost gets creamed on a
Yes, it's a four-way stop. Is it safe because of that? Not if you ask Mrs. Action Line. Chalk it up to operator
People around here have yet to master the concept of a four-way, where drivers are supposed to take turns based upon
the amount of time spent stopped, not on the size of their vehicle or the loudness of their stereo or the fact that
they are yakking on a cell phone.
When it comes to traffic-control devices, be careful what you wish for.
Boysen cites a number of problems with stop signs, most notably that study after study show stop signs create more
You get more rear-enders and fender-benders," he said.
Action Line suggested to Boysen a different safety tactic: fluorescent flags with reflector tape.
In and around downtown Salt Lake City, they have these free flags in buckets on both sides of the street. Pedestrians
can carry them in crosswalks to improve visibility. After they walk across the road, they leave the flag for the next
person going the other way.
Heck, it might be a cheap and simple solution for the Steamworks intersection.
And the good thing about the flags is that they are so unbearably ugly, no one would steal them for dorm
Or so one would assume. But as we all know, idiotic ideas look pretty darn good after a few too many frosty Steam
Engine Lagers or Backside Stouts.
The Mea Culpa Mailbag has an amusing retort from loyal reader Frank about a recent news story.
I think the idea of renaming Durango Mountain Park the Ned Overend Park is great," he writes.
However, since Ned is being somewhat shy about it, maybe we can use a little literary license and play with the
letters in his first name - calling it End Overend Park since that's what happens to me every time I ride my mountain
E-mail questions to actionline@
durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request
anonymity if you're already thinking about next year's Snowdown.