Wrong lane, wrong idea
Dear Editor:Thank you, Jay Hammond, for a good HOV letter. As one who has submitted a couple of rants about this very topic, I was feeling the itch to write another. Your letter was well thought out and well written. I would just like to add a few other observations.Safety is my foremost concern as I try to negotiate myself a clear zone traveling upvalley from Carbondale at 6:30 every morning and I have to say that the 65 mph stretch to El Jebel is the safest. Everyone has picked her own slot and traffic in general flows smoothly. From there it breaks down gradually until it hits Basalt where it turns into chaos until after Old Snowmass. Way back a couple of months ago, when I was a law-abiding citizen, I wouldn’t even pull into the right lane to allow people to merge from Holland Hills, Wingo Junction or Lazy Glen. How rude is that? How safe is that?Road Rage is another problem exacerbated by this ill-considered experiment. I, for one, get mad when a single driver blows by me in the right (wrong) lane. Then I get mad at the people who thought this would be appropriate; then, it takes me a mile or two up Brush Creek Road to get un-mad, so I can focus on my tasks for the day. Perhaps I should externalize my emotions more often with the salute, but in my experience that sort of behavior simply exacerbates the problem.The problem is that the HOV lane on ex-killer 82 is a bad idea. I don’t say this lightly. I thought the roundabout was a bad idea and I was proven wrong; it works well. The HOV lane, on the other hand, doesn’t work at all. The sheer quantity of heavy construction vehicles alone would be problem enough, without denying them use of the right lane. I mean, c’mon, this is not Britain, where you have to stay to the left. If I were a dump truck driver or a delivery van driver or a crane driver, I would rather travel in the right lane. Your mirrors work better there. Nobody’s hovering in your blind spot.The other problem is, how do we fix the problem? I thought at one time, rather naively perhaps, that if I just wrote a couple of letters to the editor that “People In Charge” would rush to the rescue and make the world look the way I wanted it to. But damn, it didn’t happen, so here I am wondering, “How do we fix the problem?” It only occurs in Pitkin County, so maybe we should start there. Would any of our county commissioners care to fill us in as to why anyone thought this would be a good idea?Gene KopeckyCarbondale
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