CB using e-sign to spread fun, safety and culture on Elk

Rogue milking goats in sexy CB potholes?

By Mark Reaman

A few weeks ago, a line of mountain bikers was seen gathering for photos near Sixth and Elk. Each group got together around the new electronic sign displaying a quirky message at the entrance to downtown. This particular message was that people should “Beware, Rogue cyclists.” Each group of bikers apparently considered themselves such cyclists.

The local brainchild of the new, quirky e-sign messages is Crested Butte town manager Dara MacDonald, who had seen similar fun messages in recent years on Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) signs around the state, from Wolf Creek Pass to DIA. MacDonald said the idea is to promote fun, safety and local Crested Butte culture.

“During some of the Compass stakeholder meetings, it kept coming up that the community could be doing more to communicate positive messages about the Crested Butte culture to our guests. And yes, speeding is also a concern,” explained MacDonald. “We obtained the variable message sign in 2022 to use for emergencies and traffic alerts and I had seen a few lighthearted CDOT messages in recent years around the state. 

So, I posed the idea with our department heads of trying to utilize the town’s variable message sign for fun, lighthearted messages to remind everyone about being a better driver or more ‘CB’ (limiting speeds, paying attention to pedestrians and bikes, not picking wildflowers, etc.).”

The town holds monthly meetings with all members of the staff and MacDonald said the attendees at one of those meetings were invited to submit their ideas. “We received lots of great suggestions and ideas from staff. I promised $5 gift certificates for coffee if their suggestion was chosen. I believe Mike (Reily) has an even more expansive list he is working from,” MacDonald said. “He updates the sign twice a week.”

Chief marshal Mike Reily said the submission ideas have been interesting and fun. “We definitely try to post messages which speak to our CB culture,” he said.

The variable message sign is mostly utilized during the summer since placement and maintenance become problematic in the winter. The town plans to have the sign out for the entire summer but it may be relocated to the bottom of the hill by the CB Community School at some point, though MacDonald said the response has been quite positive in the current location near Sixth and Elk.

“The informal feedback from the community has all been positive,” said MacDonald. “People can certainly suggest new ideas. I am sure our community can come up with some great ones!”

If you want to participate, suggestions for messages can be made to the town marshals or to the Town Hall. You can also use the comment form feature on the town’s website. The sign can accommodate messages that are three lines of no more than 8 characters across. Some messages have used two groups of that configuration for a total of six lines.

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