Our View: Schools safe, highways not | CraigDailyPress.com

Our View: Schools safe, highways not

Nowhere to go.

That is how it can feel as you watch a truck carrying a wide haul of energy equipment barreling toward when you’re driving between Baggs, Wyo., and mile marker 111, on Colorado Highway 13.

With virtually no shoulders and nowhere to go, the 20-mile stretch of highway can be unsafe. That says nothing of the wildlife roaming the area and the dangers they can cause.

Between July 1, 2006, to July 31, 2007, 25 accidents occurred in the area in question, with inattentive driving and animals causing 64 percent of the crashes.

With the highway becoming more and more of a crossing point for big hauls between Wyoming and Rifle, the section of highway between Craig and our northern neighbor will only see more traffic.

And possibly more accidents.

Something needs to be done to improve the road.

That is why the editorial board applauds the effort of the Little Snake River Valley Highway 13 Committee, a group of Carbon County, Wyo., residents who are gathering signatures – in Craig and Baggs – to improve the highway. They plan to send the signatures as a part of a letter of appeal to Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter.

According to the committee, Colorado promised years ago to improve the highway between the two towns, but funding issues stopped the planned improvements.

Tom Walsh, the District 6 state transportation commissioner, recently wrote to the Daily Press in response to this story, saying Ritter “has exhibited strong commitment to improving Colorado’s transportation program.”

He noted Highway 13 was one of the projects scheduled to move forward had a referendum passed in 2005.

Fixing the highway is an expensive proposition.

Susan Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Department of Local Affairs, estimated it costs $1 million to fix 1 mile of road. She noted there is the possibility of getting DOLA funds for highways under certain circumstances (if requested by an agency), but that the high mark is about $1 million.

Whether through the voters or through government, this is an issue the editorial board encourages everyone to take a serious look at.

School safety

We are days away from the 2007-08 school year beginning, and parents can be heard rejoicing across the Yampa Valley.

It’s also a time to remind everyone to be safe.

Children and teens will be in the streets, walking to and from school. Please slow down and keep your eyes open.

If your children are going to be riding the bus, remember to teach the following safety tips:

• Wear appropriate clothing

• Be at the bus stop at least five minutes early

• Wait until you hear the air brake noise before trying to board

• If crossing in front of the bus, wait for a signal from the bus driver

• Obey the bus driver

• When boarding the bus, go to your seat and sit down

• Be aware of danger zones around the bus

For more information about bus pick-up, call Moffat County School transportation at 824-5511.

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