Loads are too much to bear | AspenTimes.com
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Loads are too much to bear

Dear Editor:Two weeks ago I brought my family vehicles in to my friend David Z. at Novus Auto Glass in Basalt. Our vehicles needed some chip repair and a new windshield from the previous construction season’s damage. Ah, clear vision, free of stars, no spider cracks – I was feeling pretty good about the effort. The daily commute should be a little more enjoyable, if you can see the scenery. So, off I go on Highway 82, HOV lane of construction, destruction.Now, I’ve driven whitewater rafting buses trailering rafts; I’ve driven fire trucks for local fire departments. But I’m getting pretty tired of having overloaded, off-balanced, uncovered, unmarked, NASCAR-driven heavy equipment come blowing by me, in either lane dumping stones on my new windshields. It’s insane to have these monsters in the left lane. It’s insane for these guys and gals to be hauling the mail and passing passenger vehicles. Whatever happened to “stay right except to pass” or “heavy equipment stay right and slow down”? I don’t give a rat’s patoot about your “stay back 500 feet” or “not responsible for broken windshields” disclaimer stuck on your ass end. Many, not all, of you heavies are going way too fast and are a serious danger to the rest of us.There are lots of kids riding in the upvalley commute, and dropping baseball-sized granite out the hind end is not acceptable. It’s way dangerous, way expensive, and I’m quite sure there are other valley residents who feel the same. Better monitoring by all of the valley law enforcement could stem the potential for catastrophe. Picture a 20-ton overloaded, off-balance rig coming down Brush Creek tilting into my lane, over the line and dropping a load as he cranks the wheel to stay on the playing surface. I’d rather take my chances with the rocks in Glenwood Canyon. What do you do? Give chase to get a company name, take a plate number and call 911? Confront the driver? By the time you decide your best option, they’re a half-mile ahead. Even if you do try to get some company ID, some of these trucks have no markings.How about the contractors making sure their load operators don’t misload or overload, and cover the load of these behemoths? Wouldn’t it make sense to have the HOV in the left lane like the rest of the country and make the big rigs stay to the right? You cannot jeopardize my health and well-being for a load of freaking rocks. Exercise a little common sense and courtesy, and slow down, balance the load and cover it. Jack RaffertyCarbondale


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