Clear Creek News Briefs

Corinne Westeman
cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 5/4/22

Mount Evans scheduled to reopen May 27; Clear Creek is purchasing a fourth RoundAbout bus

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Clear Creek News Briefs

Posted

Mount Evans scheduled to reopen May 27

The Mount Evans Scenic Byway and recreation area are scheduled to reopen to vehicle traffic on May 27, weather permitting.

Those wishing to park at the summit, the lake, or Mount Goliath between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. will need reservations. These can be made up to 30 days in advance at recreation.gov.

Reservations are not required for cyclists or hikers.

On the website, visitors can select a day, time frame and one or multiple sites in the Mount Evans area. Customers will also be charged a $2 reservation fee. Anyone with annual and lifetime passes must still make reservations and will only pay the $2 reservation fee.

Those trying to visit without a reservation will need to return to a place where they can get a cell phone signal to secure a timed entry ticket, if available.

According to USFS spokesperson K. Reid Armstrong, last year’s timed entry program was extremely successful at reducing crowding, wait times and environmental impacts at Mount Evans.

“As the program continues in 2022, we hope visitors are growing accustomed to advanced planning,” Armstrong said in a May 2 press release. “Before heading out on any adventure, visitors should check the forests’ Know Before You Go page for all the latest updates and alerts.”

For more information, visit our www.fs.usda.gov/arp.

County to buy a fourth RoundAbout bus

Clear Creek County is purchasing a fourth RoundAbout bus, which should arrive by late May or early June.

The bus, which is smaller than the county’s current ones but has the same number of seats, costs $100,000, staff confirmed. The county will use $50,000 from its transit budget and $50,000 from its American Rescue Plan Act funds to buy it.

At the May 3 county commissioners meeting, Operations Director Beth Luther said the bus was one of the last of its kind available in the state.

Two of the current RoundAbout buses are past the 150,000-mile maintenance standard, and Luther said Clear Creek’s been waiting a year-and-a-half for a grant-funded replacement, which won’t be ready until this winter.

The RoundAbout system has about 1,100 monthly riders, Luther described, and it had to cancel routes a few times last year because a bus broke down.

The new bus has 10,000 miles, and a four-bus rotation will allow Clear Creek to rotate them across its routes strategically “and not run any one bus into the ground,” she later clarified.

While the commissioners ultimately approved the purchase, Commissioner Sean Wood hoped it wouldn’t set a precedent.

“We said we were going to be careful and thoughtful with our ARPA dollars, and now we’re having someone push their way to the front of the line,” Wood said. “ … I don’t want to reduce services elsewhere in the county to fund this.”

Commissioners Randy Wheelock and George Marlin understood that, while there could be a tradeoff, this was “an obvious need and an obvious opportunity,” as Wheelock described it.

Marlin also pointed out that the bus was already on the list for ARPA funding.

Wood, who ultimately voted to approve the purchase, stated that the commissioners’ lack of strategic planning had caused this “awkward dynamic.”

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