Crowded roads ahead |

Crowded roads ahead

Transit official warns of busy summer for Steamboat drivers

— Drivers in Steamboat Springs could soon get a ticket if they don’t yield to Steamboat Springs Transit buses.

The Steamboat Springs City Council agreed Tuesday night to consider implementing a “Yield to Bus” law, which would require vehicles to allow city buses to re-enter traffic at bus stops. The issue arose during a sobering presentation by city transportation director George Krawzoff, who warned that Steamboat faces significantly increasing traffic demands – and costs – in both the short- and long-term future. Heavy construction in Steamboat Springs this summer is expected to fill downtown parking spots, and growth in areas west of downtown will drastically increase traffic along Lincoln Avenue, which Krawzoff said is already operating at its capacity.

“Status quo (transit) services will not be adequate much longer,” Krawzoff told the City Council.

An increasing number of vehicles on Lincoln is already making it difficult for buses to re-enter traffic, Krawzoff said, which escalates the time it takes bus drivers to complete a route, and could cause the city to purchase additional buses to maintain service levels. Krawzoff said a yield law would ultimately be a cost-saving measure for the city.

Also Tuesday night, the City Council met with the Yampa Valley Housing Authority to continue an ongoing discussion about the roles of each entity in developing local affordable housing. The groups agreed the City Council should be primarily responsible for establishing regulatory housing policies, which the Housing Authority would then implement; to meet at least twice annually in the future; and to use at least some of the revenues generated by the city’s inclusionary zoning ordinance to fund Housing Authority projects.

But the City Council will not adopt its revised inclusionary zoning ordinance until at least next week, meaning much of Tuesday’s discussion was more about theory than practice.

“A lot of this is uncharted ground,” Councilman Loui Antonucci said.

Finally, the City Council voted, 4-3, in favor of the first reading of an ordinance that would place a temporary ban, or moratorium, on permits for vacation home rentals containing four bedrooms or more. Vacation home rentals are homes in residential neighborhoods that are rented to short-term vacationers and sometimes used for private functions.

Council members Susan Dellinger, Paul Strong and Antonucci voted against the ban, which the council could enact after final approval at a second reading of the ordinance.

The second reading is scheduled for Friday, April 20, at 7 a.m. at Centennial Hall.

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