Durango hopes to avoid doping scandal

Most city streets have a posted speed limit of 25 mph. Can the police give speeding tickets to cyclists? If so, will they overlook that when the pros come to town? – Slowpoke

Action Line will quote from the Big Book O’ Rules, otherwise known as the Colorado Revised Statutes. Section 42-2-1412 makes it clear:

“Every person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle … and when using streets and highways within incorporated cities and towns, shall be subject to local ordinances regulating the operation of bicycles and electrical-assisted bicycles.”

So yes, bikes are subject to the rules of the road.

Which will come as a shock to many, including the nitwits ignoring the bike lane, gabbing with each other and riding three abreast at 5 mph down East Third Avenue the other evening.

Mrs. Action Line experienced an epiphany. “I now have one thing, and one thing only, in common with those aggressive diesel truck drivers on county roads,” she sighed. “I’m not experiencing multi-modal bliss.”

But back to your inquiry. Our local constabulary is indeed empowered to ticket scofflaw pedalers.

That being said, traffic regulations will be suspended for the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

“Don’t worry, the streets will be blocked off,” Susan Lander, interim director of the Durango Area Tourism Office, said with a laugh.

The pro race is expected to draw enormous media attention.

But imagine if the starting stage became a speed trap in which every competitor was stopped and issued a citation?

Now, that would be one way to generate headlines, but maybe not the kind we need.

Cycling would have a new doping scandal, as the world crowns Durango not with a bicycle helmet, but a dunce cap.

durango colorado

Last week’s utterances sparked utterly opposite reactions for the Mea Culpa Mailbag, as loyal readers added their two cents to the lack of a dime deposit on cans and bottles.

Having no container-deposit law was the last straw for former Durangoan Frederic R. Emigh. “(It’s) one reason that I and my then-young family settled in Vermont,” he writes from his home in Montpelier.

“There is virtually no trash along Vermont roads, mainly because of the bottle bill,” he says.

“It’s an expense to producers, of course, supported by bottle premiums paid by consumers. But it’s worth it to preserve Vermont’s pristine (and attractive to visitors) landscape. You get what you don’t pay for in Colorado.”

Meanwhile, “Durango Don” recounts recycling follies Upper Midwest-style. Apparently, deposits must be processed at special machines.

“I recently returned from a family vacation in Michigan, where 13 of us generated lots of empties. Here’s how the state’s ‘progressive’ recycling worked for us.

“The first trip to the recycling machines, I learned not to wear clean clothes as residue gets everywhere. Ugh, think stale beer, wine and sticky soda,” Don writes.

“Next, I learned that only containers purchased in Michigan (and for the most part that particular store chain) are accepted.

“Then, I learned that any can dented by a casual squeeze the imbiber may have done while enjoying the beverage renders the can worthless, as the bar code scanner will reject the can as unreadable,” Don laments.

“After dutifully educating our gang not to squeeze cans, I made a second trip. Oops! Recycling machine out of order – probably from people beating on it in frustration because it keeps refusing perfectly shaped cans.

“On our departure day, I made a third trip, as I needed the money to get home. Unfortunately, most of the townsfolk had also chosen the same time, and I ended up waiting in a long line. These special recycling machines exist in only a few places in each town. What a pain!” he adds.

“In Durango, we truck our carefully segregated paper, cardboard, bottles and cans into 32nd Street drop-off twice a month – a lot easier than Michigan.”

Email questions to actionline@durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you knew that Michigan’s state motto is: “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look around you.”

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