Few streets in Colorado Springs rival the pure, unadulterated unpleasant experience of driving East Las Vegas Street.
It's a shortcut, not heavily traveled, with an overpass and a railroad crossing. Cars rattle overhead, trains rumble along side.
That's the good stuff.
Las Vegas ambles north off of South U.S. 85/87, slicing through a bleak underworld until it rolls across South Nevada Avenue.
It's an amusement park ride akin to a rollercoaster - a bump-a-second thrill that any middle-school aged kid would love if his parents weren't up front driving, stuck as he is like an emu in the back seat.
It's a messed up thoroughfare that trundles through a neighborhood of jails, bail bondsmen, a sewage treatment plant, salvage yards and the city's largest used car lot - AKA the impound lot for the Colorado Springs Police Department. Drug cars. Crime cars. Abandoned cars. Cheap cars.
Top it off with the occasional whiff of human sludge and one of the city's most unpleasant railroad crossings up the hill at South Royer Street, where larger vehicles get high centered.
This is a two-lane road not far removed from an ancient two-track, wagon trains getting through by rolling around the ruts. It's like driving on the back of an alligator the size of Ellicott.
If you haven't driven it, you should.
It's a swell way to put into perspective the region's other roads, laden as they are with potholes and rude drivers in a rush.
A drive up Las Vegas make other roads look pretty darn good.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has posted a grisly video about motorcycle safety. Motorcycle fatalities in Colorado are climbing 'at an alarming rate - nearly 1 in 5 traffic fatalities in 2011 were motorcyclists, ' the department says. For more: coloradodot.info/programs/live-to-ride.
Reader says: The issue of LOUD motorcycles here has been around for years and it is time that something is done about it. For motorcycle riders, claiming a loud bike is a safety issue is nonsense. If you're worried about safety, then where is the helmet? The real issue is that riders think it's 'cool' to have a loud bike.
While they're being 'cool,' they are making life miserable for the rest of us.
This issue falls under the heading of 'Social and Environmental Terrorism.' It is a serious quality of life issue. It is time our local authorities at both the city and county level take a strong (No Tolerance!) stand against this community nuisance.
Dan McWilliams, USN (Ret)
Contact Garrison Wells: 636-0198 or email@example.com