U.S. 24: Unsafe at any speed
I have driven U.S. 24 from Colorado Springs to Limon every week for the past year and a half. In that time, I have seen, or been diverted from, five fatal accidents. I have seen numerous other accidents that, although not fatal, appeared significant enough. In light of the double-fatality crash Sept. 17, it is becoming increasingly obvious that this highway is not safe and becoming more dangerous.
U.S. 24 is a heavy traffic highway from I-70 in Limon to Colorado Springs. It is the route when entering the state from Kansas to get to the Springs or Pueblo. Throughout the summer the road is filled with drivers from Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, in addition to the traffic from Colorado citizens.
When CDOT was asked to respond regarding the safety of U.S. 24, they chose to encourage citizens to be accountable for their actions. It is great that CDOT wants to remind folks to be accountable for their actions. What a novel idea. If it were that easy to just make drivers drive safer then what would be the purpose of CDOT? The purpose of CDOT, and the government, is to make roads safer for us.
It is disheartening to hear Colorado State Patrol assert that less than five drivers have died on that stretch of roadway in the past year. It is essentially implying that only five drivers have died instead of recognizing that five is too many.
Adding lanes from Peyton to Colorado Springs is a great idea. It is also not enough. U.S. 24 needs to be a four-lane road from Colorado Springs to I-70. It might cost the state a lot of money but any more loss of life on that highway is already too high of a cost.
Column addressed the ‘big lie’
Bravo to columnist Eric Sondermann (Sept. 22) giving evidence on how the big lie — that Joe Biden didn’t win a fair election from (unproven) massive voter fraud — is “a single lethal, hollow-point bullet aimed directly at the heart of our political system.”
His point was evidenced in a segment on CBS Sunday Morning (Sept. 19) where tourists visiting a town that has made itself to look like the fictional TV town of Mayberry in the 1960s (a MAGA dream) where problems of the outside world (and minorities) never intrude. These tourists readily identified themselves as MAGA supporters. When asked about the election, all but two raised their hand that Biden didn’t win, saying “There were people voting two and three times.” evidenced only with “This is what we have heard.”
But far scarier was when asked about Jan. 6 they said “It was all staged.” without giving any evidence as to how it was staged or by whom. These tourists easily repeat the former president’s and conservative media’s false narrative while ignoring the facts that the Trump Campaign Committee spent over 4 million dollars to bring supporters to D.C. to hear Trump say “You have to Fight like hell” and “March to the Capitol.”
To hold onto this falsehood, these tourists also had to ignore that over 600 people are charged with illegally entering the Capitol/committing violence and that those that have been before a judge have admitted to being MAGA supporters (Proud-boys/Oath-Keepers etc.), have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced to probation or jail.
Unsustainable economic path we’re onColorado’s economy is just starting to come back to life following the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s going to take time for things to return to normal. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 200,000 Coloradans remain unemployed, down from pandemic highs of 360,000 last year, but still significantly more than the roughly 80,000 who were out of work prior to the pandemic.
Despite these challenging economic conditions, our elected officials in Washington appear ready to vote on massive tax-and-spend legislation that would instantaneously cripple a number of industries, including the oil and gas industry. This, after President Joe Biden imposed a moratorium of oil and gas leasing on federal lands in the first month of his presidency. When you fill up your tank at the gas station, you’ve probably noticed it’s a lot more expensive than at this time last year. That’s no coincidence, and if these proposed policies become law, it’s only going to get worse. I, along with a number of Colorado Springs residents, came together for a honk-and-wave outside of Senator Michael Bennet’s office earlier this month to make our voices heard on behalf of everyday people who simply can’t afford to go along with what’s coming out of Washington, D.C. I encourage readers to contact our elected officials to let them know that the economic path we’re headed down isn’t just unsustainable, but irresponsible.
Citizens, too, must be responsible
In regard to Dave Lovell’s Sept. 20 letter to the editor in which he does delineate quite clearly the benefits to the American people from President Biden’s programs and policies, I find those programs and policies quite short-sighted in their scope.
For one example, keeping Americans working in jobs, one would think, would take precedence over gifts of money that encourage job openings to be ignored and laziness to be acceptable. Even though some of the benefits may be worthwhile and proper, the underlying “dependency on government attitude” that is created cannot be a plus in a democracy where responsibility and incentive go hand in hand.
If incentive is quenched, and human nature has proven historically that it can be, there can be dark days ahead. Have the citizens of our country, even if the politicians are ignoring repercussions of questionable policy, given careful consideration to consequences? It is, after all, the taxes of our citizens that provide monies for these benefits resulting from the programs and policies.
Yes, our leaders must lead well, but citizens, too, must be responsible, voting wisely and thoughtfully and sorting out the propaganda and misguided judgments that have taken over our country.
However, hopefully second thoughts by our Congress will be in order before the Build Back Better Initiative of the Biden Administration is passed.