Some residents share road but not the wealth

Photos courtesy of Action Line

At what elevation do bikes turn into elk? The roadside signs near Bodo Industrial Park inform drivers of an interesting transition in traffic hazards.

I’m curious about the “share the road” wording below the “beware of elk” sign on the road to Lake Nighthorse. As far as I am concerned, the elk have the right of way and can have the whole darn road. I noticed this sign last year before the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and, apparently, no elk were involved in any incidents. Just sign me, Willing To Share Because I Don’t Want a Dent in My Car

The “share the road with elk” sign on County Road 210 is not so peculiar if you consider that it sits at the entrance to a state wildlife area.

But what’s really weird is another sign not more than 1,000 feet away and 50 feet downhill on U.S. Highway 550/160, just before the Santa Rita bridge approaching town.

Instead of the silhouette of an elk, there’s a bicycle.

So there are significant road hazards everywhere, and we have to keep a watchful eye when driving.

On one hand, there are clueless animals that don’t pay attention to traffic, travel in herds and move unpredictably.

On the other hand, there are elk.

Regardless, sharing the road is a fabulous idea no matter which mammal occupies the pavement.

But one has to wonder. If the “elk” sign is interpreted as “beware of elk,” why don’t we have the same reaction to the “bike” sign?

Perhaps it’s because a wandering wapiti weighs many hundreds of pounds more than any sinewy cyclist.

And which is more fearsome, a hairy beast with big antlers? Or some dude in stretch fabric who shaves his legs and wears a plastic hat?

In the latest issue of Colorado Country Life magazine, La Plata Electric Association CEO Greg Munro recounts the difficulty of bringing power to rural areas and quotes the adage, “Electric co-ops were constructed with lines, poles and the foolhardy notion that we all prosper by helping each other.” Yet six pages later, the magazine reports that the majority of readers “are not willing to pay more for their electricity to finance wind and solar power for their neighbors ... 83 percent said they were not willing to pay even $1 toward rebates for others in their electric co-operative.” What’s up with that? – Reddy Kilowatt

One could lament how the world has become nastier, divided and selfish.

But Action Line sees this as a curt kerfuffle that has no power despite the fact that it concerns electricity.

The “Readers Response” section of Colorado Country Life is an unscientific poll, and the magazine points this out.

There’s also the matter of audience. Colorado Country Life is the official publication of the Colorado Rural Electric Association – in other words, a statewide thing.

A lot of crabby people live across the state, some of whom see funding alternative energy as yet another step toward socialism.

How ironic it is that the very act of rural electrification was one of the most magnificently socialist deeds of the previous century?

Our good friends at Merriam-Webster define socialism as collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.

Hmmm. Sounds pretty much like a member-owned rural electric co-operative that runs its power plants and operates transmission lines.

Anyway, don’t get all amped up that a vocal minority won’t lend a greenback for green power.

Obviously, some folks only want to share their opinion but do not want to share the wealth.

And let’s come full circle to the first question about sharing the road. What about the malcontents who don’t want to give a lousy buck for neighborly rebates – will these people share the road?

Betcha $1 no way with bikes but probably with elk.

Email questions to actionline@durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you do the right thing with your electricity bill and participate in LPEA’s Round Up Program.

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