‘I love where I live:’ Roaring Fork Road and Weather admin connects community with vital information
The administrator behind the Roaring Fork Road and Weather page on Facebook has helped thousands of drivers stay in the know of the frequent road closures.
Members summon Ray Alexander for road closure updates, knowing their page admin will provide a quick and accurate reply.
Alexander created the page several years ago when the Grand Avenue Bridge project started, which kept locals informed of the daily traffic impacts.
“There was no other way to describe it, it was a nightmare,” Alexander recalled. We made it, we survived. The group became really valuable at that point.”
During the winter, Alexander provides snow removal services. In the summer months he specializes in concrete and stone sealing installation.
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“Even in my summer gig I know I can’t do anything when it’s raining, so I have to know what the weather is like,” Alexander said.
To check on road conditions and closures himself, Alexander relies on Tracy Trulove, a contract public information consultant working with the Colorado Department of Transportation, to give him an update via text or phone call.
“Anytime I hear something, the first thing I’ll do is call CDOT,” he said.
Otherwise, members will post information on crashes they recently witnessed to warn the drivers heading toward it. It’s that collective work from members who really make the group an invaluable resource for locals.
“I think the biggest thing I want out there is the fact that I couldn’t do it without the members,” Alexander said. “I spend a lot of time trying to keep it a great group, but at the same time without anyone else reporting what they see and hear, it wouldn’t be as valuable. I’m only one person and I can’t be everywhere.”
The Facebook page members write an average of 112 posts per day on the page, Alexander said, citing the page analytics.
The members consist of about 3,000 Glenwood Springs residents, 1,500 Carbondale residents, 1,400 Rifle residents, 1,300 New Castle residents and 489 Aspen residents.
Sometimes, Alexander devotes a little too much time to the page.
“I get a lot of grief from my significant other,” he said. “There was a time when we were on a family vacation when the Grizzly Creek Fire started. We were about to head out to go rafting and I sent everyone else out to go rafting so I could keep the source of information.”
It’s a lot of work, but Alexander enjoys it.
“It’s a very valuable thing for the community. I love where I live,” Alexander said. “When the canyon closes, it’s part of living in the mountains. If we have to suffer through a couple days of closures to see these views and drive through these canyons and go rafting, it’s part of the trade-off.”
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Ivan Jackson joined LIFT-UP as its new executive director in August.