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Old 06-15-2011   #11
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 40
Yeah, it’s a safety issue from their perspective - which makes sense - but I'm not sure they get that it’s less safe now and really impacts use of the wave. As it stands now, you can still cross the road, but you need to walk 20 yards further up the road to go around the fence. Once there, you actually have a worse view of cars coming from the right (under the train tracks) than you did before. It’s an impractical, but not that surprising response to an issue.

This is something we should try to deal with in a super polite way; one that at one time thanks the city for their investment in the whitewater park and at the same time points out the challenges with the fence-as-solution approach to traffic hazards.

I'm happy to put together a short letter of some sort that we can send to the city prior to a council meeting and then it would be good to have a small polite group go a present the issue and open up the dialogue. The reality is, its not going away over night and going and telling them they are stupid ain't going to do a thing but keep them from investing in the part or future features in the area (there are some city council members who talk about making another feature up stream).

The reality is, the traffic crossing thing is an issue and one thing that needs to happen is boaters (and surfers) need to be smart and courteous when walking across. I've seen plenty of people just blast across in front of people rather than waiting for a solid opening. Again, this is silly. Keeping the folks of Glenwood Springs - including motorists - is a good thing for us long term. There is no reason that the city can't make more investments in whitewater features (gates, other play spots, parking, etc), but they won't if we are not good guests.

So this is a long winded way of saying that this issue - the fence - is probably a harbinger of things to come and its up to us to organize ourselves to be good stewards and polite guests or (1) people won't like us, which will have consequences; and (2) the city will make rules, put up fences, etc... My point is that in addition to noting the problem with the fence, we should probably offer some solutions to this and other issues and ask the city what else the boating community can do to show its appreciation and maintain good relations.

I'm happy to help out with this. If anyone else is already on it, great, let me know what I can do. If not, I'm happy to help herd the cats a bit. Drop a line if interested or if you are already doing something.


clarkito (at) gmail (dot) com

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Old 06-16-2011   #12
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 11
When I eddy out on river right and cross the highway at the round-about cars only stop for me in the crosswalk about 25% of the time. Kayakers/surfers are definitely not the only ones at fault here. Install a crosswalk at the south end of the bridge. Ticket the drivers that don't yield to pedestrians in either of the crosswalks. Budget problems solved.

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Old 06-16-2011   #13
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 40
I hear ya man. I don't disagree, though some days I'm amazed at how cool people are at the crosswalks - those that do let me by. Either way, that's not the point. The issue of who is at fault - drivers or boaters - is neither here nor there. And if we make that the issue, we'll lose.

My point is that we have a pretty incredible resource here and it is in our best interest to keep the city on our team and work towards a solution. Make no mistake, we wouldn't be having this conversation if they hadn't ponied up a lot of money to build what is truly an amazing feature. And - as noted in my previous post - I think there is a decent chance the city will continue to invest in these things if we are intelligent about it.

The fence is stupid - I confirmed that again during an early session this AM, but getting pissed at the city (or drivers who know no better) ain't gunna do a damn thing. Politely engaging the city in a conversation about how to address - other than fencing it up - seems a better approach.
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Old 06-18-2011   #14
Carbondale, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 317
So, someone decided to chop a hole in the fence. As i was driving past an hour ago, two tools just walked through the hole out into traffic as if they were entitled to be there. Good representation. In case you playhole folks didn't get this, if you stand on the sidewalk, face perpendicular to traffic and have your kayak or SUP under your arm, your shit is sticking out into traffic.
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Old 06-18-2011   #15
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 30
Clark, Much agreed on emphasizing the point of politeness. The last thing we need is a funky culture of ignorance circulating at the wave like some of the playspots in NY state and other east coast places where people get beer bottles thrown at them for kayaking. Let's stave off any brash actions and keep paddling instead. In my opinion, the fence just makes me go around when I have to hike up, and it's not real hard to get around it. One scary thing that it does is limit immediate access to injured people. Imagine, somebody blows a shoulder or hurts their back and need help getting back to the parking lot. The fence increases the time it takes for help to get to them as well as the rescue effort. fences and kayaking don't mesh, and neither does traffic, but please, don't anybody go giving kayaking a bad name. It's the last thing our small sport needs.
Thank you to all paddlers in advance and let's keep the talk high, and the volatile actions low!
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Old 06-18-2011   #16
Porkchop's Avatar
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 144
Walking out in the street w/ your boat is just as stupid as putting up a fence in a known path that park users use. Yes, there is an issue but putting up a fence is not a solution. Many people besides kayakers enjoy the park and lots of money has been spent. If the city thinks the fence is a good idea in the first place I think will be difficult to find a real solution after the fact. While it sucks there have been some accidents I have crossed the street many times and never had an issue??? I really hope people figure this out.

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