Letter: Coal Ridge access
After seeing several articles in the Post Independent lately concerning the lack of pedestrian and bicycle access to the new K-8 school south of Glenwood, it seemed appropriate to write and comment on another Garfield County school without adequate access. Coal Ridge High School, built in 2005 to serve the communities of New Castle and Silt and the surrounding area, is only accessible via Highway 6.
We recently moved to Silt and have a daughter attending Coal Ridge as a freshman. We have two other children who will likely also attend the school. Living only about a mile west of the school, it would be a no-brainer for them to bike, run, skateboard, snowshoe, ski or otherwise access the school under their own power — if there was a safe access route to the campus.
Although there is a “bicycle lane” along Highway 6, consisting of about 2 to 3 feet of blacktop protected by a painted white line, I don’t feel comfortable with them riding their bikes along that stretch of roadway, with its truck traffic and early morning and evening sun shining in the eyes of drivers. Picking up my daughter from after school sports in the evening, I have cringed to watch one bicycle rider wobble his way down the bike lane as traffic whizzes past at highway speeds. Seems like a tragedy waiting to happen.
It amazes me that while multiuse trails are constructed that lead nowhere, (South Canyon), a multiuse path has not been constructed to access an important school. Working in the civil engineering profession, I understand that there are many issues that need to be solved (right of way, access etc.) before a path can be constructed, as well as conjuring up the money to build it. It does seem a worthwhile project to undertake though, for the safety of our children, not to mention alleviating traffic from parents dropping off and picking up their children. And we all should be aware of the need to reduce traffic in light of the recent traffic challenges facing a bridge-challenged neighbor to the east.
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