Speeders quick to complain about hefty fines on Four Mile Road
A controversial sewer project on Four Mile Road continues to kick up dust.Garfield County Commissioner Trési Houpt asked Sheriff Lou Vallario on Monday to reconsider traffic tickets issued to drivers on Four Mile Road, which garnered them double the usual fines because the infractions were in a construction zone.The 2.8-mile sewer line from the beginning of Four Mile to the Spring Ridge subdivision on Dry Park Road, which has included tearing up Four Mile Road, was to be completed by Oct. 15 last year. But weather forced the contractor out, and paving was not completed. Now the contractor is back to finish the job.Work must be completed on or before June 30. In March, the commissioners approved reducing the speed limit from 35 to 25 mph in the construction zone, which runs the length of Four Mile from Dry Hollow Road to Midland Avenue.Houpt, who lives off Four Mile Road, said she’d received phone calls from residents who’ve received tickets. “Is there any way you can work with these people who got tickets,” she asked Vallario.”No, it’s a judge’s call,” Vallario said. “If you ask me to undo (a ticket), I can’t undo it.”In making her request, Houpt said people in the area have not been sufficiently educated about the speed limit change nor have there been enough signs posted up and down the road with the new speed limit and fines information.”We’ve created a lot of confusion,” she said. “There are a lot of very upset people.”Although she praised the contractor, Tarco, for doing a good job on the construction this spring, she said the construction zone “is so big it doesn’t make sense.”She also protested that the number of new speed-limit signs was insufficient. “We didn’t give enough warning for people coming out of some areas” such as Chelyn Acres, she said.Four Mile resident Art Steuerwald, who lives in Chelyn Acres, also complained about the 25 mph speed limit.”Twenty-five miles per hour three-quarters of a mile away from the construction is ridiculous,” he said.County road and bridge supervisor Marv Stephenson defended the size of the zone, but agreed more signs were needed in some areas.”As much as is happening there we need to keep the construction zone as it is,” he said.Vallario agreed. “It’s a decision you … made,” he said to the commissioners. He added that in his experience many of the people who live where a speed limit is reduced tend to pay less attention to new signs than people driving there for the first time.Both Vallario and Stephenson also pointed out speeding is already a problem on Four Mile, especially in the winter with people driving to Sunlight Mountain Resort.
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