Regarding the diversion of outbound Florida Road traffic to 32nd Street, there's a problem. At Holly Avenue, 32nd
Street narrows and has no shoulders, bike lanes or sidewalks. I discussed this with the city last summer, and the
official response was: This is the county's problem. So nothing has been done to avert this bottleneck. It's going to
aggravate drivers and pose a danger for cyclists and pedestrians. - Will
Unfortunately, yes, 32nd Street will be congested, dangerous and downright unpleasant.
Not that 32nd ever was really a nice road to begin with.
Anyway, 32nd from Holly Avenue up to East Animas Road is not in the city limits. It's officially designated as County
Thus, widening shoulders or installing sidewalks would, indeed, be the county's responsibility.
We all know how the county feels about improving recreational amenities for Lycra-clad urban cyclists or accommodating
But could you imagine the uproar if city officials spent another couple of million they don't have to gussy up a road
that's not even theirs?
That would make CDOT's Bridge to Nowhere look like a monument to good planning and responsible use of tax money.
The fact of the matter is we're going to have to live with 32nd Street as is.
City Engineer Gregg Boysen acknowledges the difficult situation.
It's a tough one. We urge motorists to accommodate bike traffic because, by law, bikes have just as much right to the
road," he said.
At the same time, he asked local riders to observe the rules of the road." That means play nice with vehicles.
As for the pedestrians, your best plan is to walk defensively. Wear something other than black during your nocturnal
peregrinations. Get yourself one of those blinking things smart bike riders wear at night.
The 32nd Street-County Road 251 diversion will be our collective challenge for at least a year, if not longer.
So let's all slow down and be aware.
Visualize a spiffy new Florida Road, with happy children skipping down the wide sidewalk friendly bicyclists in
single file riding within well-marked lanes and attentive drivers not talking on cell phones waving to each other as
they all obey the speed limit.
Well, it could happen here. In theory, anyway.
May we please continue to commute on our bicycles into and out of town on Florida Road? - Debra Van Winegarden
In a word, no. Not even if you ask pretty please with sugar on top.
Action Line pleaded your case to the powers that be, all of whom raised their eyebrows at the notion of special
exemptions for bike commuting through a construction zone.
Why the heck would they want to do that?" asked one gruff unnamed person, not exactly using the word heck.
The road is narrowed by barrels, there's heavy equipment operating, and drivers have a lot to contend with without
having to dodge bikers come at them the wrong way."
Again, we turn to Gregg Boysen, city engineer, for a calm perspective and equitable solution.
First of all, Boysen reminds cyclists that they have a responsibility to follow the rules, and a big one is to not ride
It's so dangerous. It just can't be permitted," he said.
The solution, Boysen points out, is to find an alternate route on our lovely Animas River Trail.
Cyclists in the neighborhoods along Florida Road can pedal past the library, over the bridge behind the high school and
access feeder streets off Rio Vista Circle.
Gregg points out that the Animas River Trail is more scenic than Florida Road, far safer and only a tad bit longer than
using Florida, if it were even an option.
So take a deep breath, explore the side streets and neighborhoods and discover the scenic route.
E-mail 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
celebrate Presidents Day by donating a couple of dead presidents" to one of the many great nonprofits that serve our