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