School district’s plea for tax hike should be ignored
Thank you, Gabrielle Porter, for an objective article regarding the Jeffco Schools budget. The numbers don’t lie when we see that the spending by Jeffco schools has increased steadily and by a net of 1.4 percent AFTER inflation and AFTER the 4.6 percent decrease last year since 2004. The numbers also reveal that enrollment is down by 2,000 students and, contrary to a spokesman’s claim, special-needs numbers are down, not up.
Greg Romberg, as per his recent column, and the tax-and-spend gang can’t wait to put their hand out, or should I say in our pockets, as soon as any indication of potential revenue increases might exist. There is still too much cost in the high-end administrative levels and, brace yourselves, public schools do not belong in many areas they have expanded into, including outdoor lab. If you want outdoor lab, put your children in Scouting, where they mastered the science years ago.
Finally: Union goons, stop the fear-and-doubt strategy. I suspect our quality teachers in the foothills live and teach here because of the quality of life and not because of whether it is the highest paying or not. If you or newer teachers want to teach in Cherry Creek, then God bless you and them. It’s straight down the hill and to the right.
Concert at Humphrey Museum was a rip-roaring good time
On the evening of July 28, we had a rip-roaring time at the Humphrey Museum listening to bluegrass music featuring Greg Blake/Colorado and Jeff Scroggins (local musicians). If you haven’t been to the Summer Under the Stars concert series showcased by the museum, then you have missed out on a jewel of summer fun!
We enjoyed the music in a pastoral mountain setting on the lawn of the Humphrey Museum, where you can either sit under the tent or bring your own lawn chairs. It is old-fashioned good times and family-friendly (the kids can romp on the new playground). The staff and volunteers offer (for a modest fee) root beer floats, sandwiches and beverages, or you can pack a picnic basket and tailgate fare.
For more information about the many activities and scheduled events offered by the museum, call 303-674-5429 and visit the Web page at www.hmpm.org. The address for the museum: 620 Soda Creek Road in Evergreen.
All of this fun is right here in our Evergreen backyard!
Intersection is unsafe and should be redesigned
On Friday, June 22, the intersection of Highways 73 and 74 in Evergreen was the scene of yet another vehicular smash-up, resulting from a dangerous road layout that forces traffic to merge under the worst possible circumstances. Not only is there far too little space, but it is on a very sharp and blind curve, and is uphill. This violates every reasonable parameter of highway design. Although there seem to have been no injuries, a commercial truck was damaged somewhat, and one family’s automobile was severely damaged.
CDOT was advised of the danger of the double left turn lanes at this intersection in September 2007, but they ignored it. When they were reminded in February 2012, an engineer was dispatched to view the situation, and to hear every argument why this death trap should never have been created, and why it should be eliminated, something that could be done quickly and inexpensively by repainting the lines that define the lanes, and removing one of the left arrow signs overhead.
The cost of this change would be far less than the cost of the damage to the automobile in the June 22 rear-ender. As bad as it is, this spot can only hold second place to the even more dangerous double left turn at the intersection of Buffalo Park Road and County 73 by the library, where there is far less space to merge.
This must be the most dangerous intersection in the entire nation. I personally have had at least five near-death encounters between these two intersections over the years, and I am alarmed that the authorities refuse to be concerned with their inherent hazard.
Both Jeffco deputies and State Patrol troopers agree that such intersections are very dangerous, but they say that CDOT in particular does not listen to them either. Who can better be called the experts on highway safety? These men and women have to drive more miles than most of us, under greater stress, and they get to see the aftermath of all the accidents and road rage that result from incompetent highway design.
We do have some very good roads in this state, that have been constructed and maintained under challenging circumstances, but the two intersections I have described, are not among them.
We have too many drivers that are aggressive, reckless, and anti-social, but a merging collision can just as easily occur with some well-meaning person who does not appreciate the impending hazard, and is lured into it by the double left turn signs. Little do they appreciate, as they streak around on the right, that there may not be space to merge, and that the car in the left lane will be forced to either (a) jam on the brakes and get rear-ended, (b) pull into oncoming traffic and risk a head-on collision, or (c) stay the course, forcing the right lane vehicle into the creek at the library, or into the rock wall downtown. If you are ever confronted with these life or death choices, remember that the car in the inside, or left, lane has the legal right of way.
Unfortunately, one individual at CDOT, not the engineer who did the investigation, refuses to acknowledge the hazard to life and limb and property. His contention is that the accident rates at 73/74 are on a par with other intersections, and that the double lanes are required for greater traffic flow. With the exception of such factors as cell phone usage, or drunken driving, which are unpreventable, virtually every accident at 73/74 and at the library can be attributed to just one thing — the impossible merging of double left turns, and that can be completely eliminated.
All roads into and out of 73/74 are two lane with numerous traffic flow restrictions, so any flow improvement at the intersection would buy nothing. It is not hard to understand that this bizarre experiment with human behavior works best when it is needed least — during light traffic — and works worst when it is needed most — during heavy traffic — and is at all times a grave hazard.
How much property damage do we have to have, how much personal injury, how many lives do we have to lose, to justify making a change that is easy to understand, inexpensive, and quick to implement? If you agree, make your feelings known to CDOT, for 73/74, and to Jefferson County, for Buffalo Park Road/73.