Glade Park not warm to national park idea

GLADE PARK — The roads to and through Colorado National Monument are too small, too few and too crowded.

And that’s not taking into account any increase in traffic that might come with an upgrade in the status of the monument.

Glade Park residents told monument and other National Park Service staffers on Thursday that they worry about access and safety on Rim Rock Drive, especially on what’s known as East Hill, the road that snakes up from the east, or Grand Junction entrance, to the monument.

“The road is small,” said resident Roger Dingman. “It is what it is and you can’t change it.”

It might help to shunt traffic off to Little Park Road, Dingman said, noting that “alternate access to Colorado National Monument signs” could be placed to direct visitors to the road and away from the heavily used East Hill.

The Glade Park meeting was the last in a second round of meetings here and in Fruita and in Grand Junction.

As with the Grand Junction meeting, residents of Glade Park worried about the growing use of Rim Rock Road by bicyclists and bicycle tours.

Some suggested that bicycles should be licensed for use on the monument and others called for enforcing traffic laws as stringently on bicyclists as on motorists.

And looming above all the discussion was the issue of national park status, one that gives some Glade Park residents the cold shivers.

What would national park status do in the case of people who heat their homes with firewood, even when the wintertime inversion prohibits it in the Grand Valley below, said resident David Schaer, who also has a shooting range about a quarter-mile from the monument boundaries.

“How is it going to change my quality of life?” Schaer asked.

If U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., and U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., are going to pursue park status legislation, they should meet first with Glade Park residents, said Doug Underhill.


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