EDITORíS DESK: Scrapping and speeding
Two topics seem to be bobbing to the surface this issue, at least for commentary purposes. I'd like to hit on the metal thievery problem first. Everybody I talk to about
this kind of crime pretty much roll their eyes at the insanity of it. Imagine spending hours tearing apart someone's sprinkler system or disabling a Springs Utilities
streetlight - sometimes in broad daylight where you're all but inviting police to arrest you - just so you can extract some bits of metal to sell to a scrap dealer for next
to nothing. Yet, crazy or not, this kind of stuff goes on all the time. Utilities has even warned that its mounting expenses, in constantly replacing and repairing fixtures,
could someday contribute to a rate hike. Police say the perpetrators are nearly always methamphetamine addicts, and their whole intent is just to get another dose.
But what I'd like to see is some action at the State Legislature. About 15 months ago, when I first did a story on this problem and a police officer told me that it would
really help if the state law required ID checks on any scrap-metal sale (not just those of $25 or more), I interviewed State Representatives Michael Merrifield and
Bob Gardner and both said they would look into legislation on that. Well, gentlemen, you've both been re-elected. When are we going to see some action on this
The second topic is that pesky issue of setting speed limits. Based on data showing that 85 out of every 100 drivers are going 69 mph along I-25 through town (and past the Westside), Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) staffers were perfectly justified in setting a new standard closer to those speeds. And it's true, to paraphrase Vice Mayor Larry Small, that it wouldn't be good to "politicize" such work. But for a truly technical outcome, shouldn't all contributing factors be considered - such as noise, ramp safety, road design and even economic factors? CDOT seems to have moved too fast on this. Can we give them a ticket?