Thursday, November 23, 2017
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Funny things

There are a few things hanging out there I find sort of funny in a funny-weird sort of way. Not necessarily funny-ha-ha but just perplexing in their, well, funniness.

I don’t want to keep putting Brush Creek stuff in the paper all the time so I’ll lay off a bit, but there is one really funny claim that keeps being made that is both funny-weird and funny-ha-ha. To keep stating that because it is a mile-and-half from the town boundary and near a trail, that those residents will walk, ride their bikes or ski to town is, well, funny. The claim by the development team is that a car will not be needed to live in the development. Okaaaaaay.

Now, there will be times residents ride their bikes to town. There will be times residents take a ski or Fat Bike ride on the town ranch Nordic trails. There will be times residents walk between town and their apartment (if they are smart it will definitely be about 2:15 in the morning).

But 98 percent of the residents will have cars, trucks, campers or motorcycles. They’ll use their cars to get to the grocery, to drop their kids off at dance class, go to the doctor or to hit a surprise powder morning. Of the remaining 2 percent, 1 percent will have to walk or ride because they have a DUI (which by the way, can happen whether you live in Meridian Lake, town, or Larkspur). The other 1 percent might do it out of principle. But the reality is that contractors and carpenters have tools. Teachers have stacks of papers. Bartenders get off work at weird times.

It also rains and snows between Brush Creek and town. Believe it or not, it gets cold in that mile-and-a-half. And that mile-and-a-half would probably take 10 minutes on a mountain bike, at least 20 on foot (with no young kids), and 20 on Nordic skis to get you to the gravel pit.

A regular bus (like every 20 minutes all day/every day) can help but the first comments to the Planning Commission indicate it will take a lot more buses and thus more money to accommodate transit needs for a development where cars are not needed.

So while a worthy and ideal goal—and that concept really does work in town—the claim of no cars at the corner of Brush Creek is just … funny.

The paid parking idea in Crested Butte is sort of funny to me. The council is open to it and that normally would raise red flags. But the initial proposal makes so much sense that it is sort of funny to me that I sort of like it. It uses technology to address an obvious problem that is evident many months of the year. If it works as it has been explained, it is a low-cost answer to parking issues that would normally be addressed in most resort towns through concrete parking structures. And we don’t need no concrete parking structures in Crested Butte. The council wants a lot of public feedback on the big picture and the details of any such plan and that’s a good idea.

So while paid parking sounds so anti-Crested Butte, it is funny that it could work and work well.

Then there’s the idea of a married couple hoping to land on the same high-profile pressure cooker political board together. What could go wrong? Talk about some funny pillow talk…

I will say it is funny-strange that the county mailed out 1,359 ballots for Crested Butte voters this week. There are only a few hundred more people thought to live in town. The Colorado Department of Local Affairs has the town down with a population of 1,580 as of July 2015. So I’ll go out on a limb and say there are probably more than a few ballots going to a Crested Butte post office box for someone who moved out of town. And that should invalidate such ballots.

If you don’t currently live in town, you do not get to legally vote for the Town Council or mayor’s race—as much as you might want to. So if you moved to Crested Butte South and you get a ballot with the Town Council election on it, contact the Gunnison County Elections Office at 641-7927 and change your address and get a new ballot. That’s the right thing to do. This upcoming election will be pretty close with so many candidates, so every legal vote should count. There’s nothing funny about voting somewhere you shouldn’t.

—Mark Reaman

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