Residents leery of hazardous traffic

Rosevale neighborhood residents told National Park Service officials that they don’t want hazardous materials traveling their streets to reach Glade Park instead of along Monument Road and Rim Rock Drive, as suggested by the agency.

Having a gravel truck overturn in Rosevale “would be a catastrophe for my community,” Rosevale resident Josh Smith said Wednesday during a meeting sponsored by the Park Service at Two Rivers Convention Center. “Please do not send this traffic through my neighborhood.”

Smith said he was speaking for several elderly residents of the area as well as himself in protesting the proposal to divert vehicles carrying hazardous materials to Glade Park. About 50 people — many of them Glade Park residents who want commercial vehicles to continue using the existing route to and from their homes and the Grand Valley to deliver propane, gravel, diesel and agricultural products — attended the meeting. A similar session was Tuesday in Glade Park.

Several Glade Park residents said the route through Rosevale and up Little Park Road to DS Road is 2.2 miles longer than the existing route up from Monument Road on Rim Rock Drive along what is known as the East Hill.

The Little Park Road approach is also more dangerous, steeper and narrower in many places than the route through the monument, Rosevale and Glade Park residents said.

Risk can be more easily managed along the existing route, Smith said.

“Putting people and communities at risk instead of a scenic drive is not appropriate,” Smith said. “I wonder if they understood what the alternate route is all about.”

Monument Superintendent Lisa Eckert this summer announced a ban on hazardous materials on the East Hill, which she later rescinded. A schedule of public meetings was then set to discuss safety on the East Hill.

Mesa County is conducting audits of both routes, including the design of both roads, the number of residents who might be affected by either route, accident histories and other factors, which Eckert said she will consider in making a final decision.

Glade Park rancher Jay Van Loan said he recommended to Eckert that she appoint a committee of stakeholders to study the issue.


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