Colorado town tries to re-route truckers

| 3/20/2006

City officials in Fort Collins, CO, are working on ways to keep truckers from taking a shortcut through their town on their way to Laramie, WY.

So far, their efforts have been less than successful.

There are two ways to get to Laramie from Fort Collins. The main route is a trip up Interstate 25 through Cheyenne, then onto Interstate 80 over to Laramie. This trip is about 87 miles, according to Rand McNally’s 2005 Large Scale Motor Carrier’s Road Atlas.

The other way takes Colorado Highway 14 through Fort Collins to U.S. 287, which goes north straight into Laramie. This trip, according to Rand McNally, is only about 58 miles.

The Denver Post reported that Fort Collins city officials contend the state Highway 287 route is a 69-mile trip that only shaves about 10 minutes from the Interstate 25 route.

Either way, the city officials wanted to do something about it, so they started a campaign called “Stay on the Big Road.” The campaign cost $300,000 and consisted of signs and billboards urging truckers to stay on interstates.

The plan apparently backfired. According to the city’s official Web site, truck traffic through Fort Collins actually increased by about 16 percent in 2005.

According to The Post, every day an average of 1,750 trucks travel along I-25 on their way to Laramie. Of those, about 700 make their way through Fort Collins to U.S. 287.

The city considered increasing fines and using law enforcement to re-route the truckers, but The Post reported that city officials were fearful of lawsuits brought upon other cities by truckers who felt they were unfairly targeted.

Carl Maxey, owner of a trucking company that hauls heavy equipment out of Fort Collins, told The Post that most truckers take U.S. 285 because they feel it’s safer than I-25.

“There was a significant number of blown-over semi-trailers due to high winds on I-25 north of Fort Collins,” Maxey said.