Dan Furlong: Are locals the problem? – Colorado News

Dan Furlong: Are locals the problem? – Colorado News

The Steamboat Pilot & Today’s “JAMPACKED” article was an interesting read but missed the 800-pound moose in the room.

A comparison of U.S. census population data for Steamboat vs. the traffic count data the Pilot published, shows a surprisingly direct relationship.

The Pilot’s numbers show a 76 percent increase in traffic in 24 years (about 2.2 percent per year compounded growth). Population growth (local increase) per Google is virtually the same. Most businesses would consider this (2.2%) slow growth and easy to manage. Yes there is growth, but it is hardly extreme, unexpected or unpredictable.

So since traffic count growth is directly related to population (i.e. locals) growth, are locals the real problem? Wow.

No, it’s not just the locals and not just the tourists, it’s the complex interactions of both, which forces periods of peak demand on a fixed (limited) infrastructure causing congestion and delays that we locals experience, and we don’t like.

This recognition drives a whole new perspective and new set of questions:

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• Do we understand the impact of peaks on the town? What represents a peak? How do we (should we) define a peak? Can we agree on acceptable delays during peaks; like waiting two cycles at a light?

• Can we predict peaks?

• Where are the efforts and the focus to help manage the peaks? I can assure you there are still quiet times downtown complete with tumble weed.

When and where are the peaks, exactly? My guess is 3 to 6 p.m. daily, in the summer, on Lincoln/U.S. Highway 40, but we (locals) should know exactly by hour and by day and location, and as locals, we can act, plan and respond appropriately.

• What can…

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