Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why Pikes Peak is Being Paved...

I have consistently decried the paving of the Pikes Peak road over the past few years.

Why make it easier??  Why make it something less unique?  Why open it up to NAPCAR vehicles?

Its character and special place in motorsports was derived by its raw, untamed nature.  The dirt/gravel made it something different in the world of motorsports dominated by asphalt tethered wuss mobiles.

I still whine about the ever encroaching pavement to this day with the final sections due to be done at any moment.

What I always failed to ask was this: Why is Pikes Peak being paved?

I suppose I always chalked it up to the steady drumbeat of "progress" and a desire to get more giant RVs to the top of the damn mountain.

Not so.

The paving of Pikes Peak is the result of a Sierra Club lawsuit settled by the town of Colorado Springs in 1999.  The Sierra Club sued saying that the town was damaging the mountain (National Forest land) in terms of runoff and excess gravel and was violating the "Clean Water Act".

The town fought the lawsuit briefly out of concern for what impact it would have on the race and the cost to pave the road to the top of the 14,110 mountain but then gave in, seeing the writing on the legal wall with the Sierra Club likely better and more aggressively funded in this effort than the taxpayers of Colorado Springs.

And so some 12 years after capitulation, Pikes Peak is almost paved from top to bottom and I guess the environment there is "saved".  I'll miss seeing real cars on a real surface tackle this race.  And now I know who to blame...

Colorado Springs 1999 Settlement with Sierra Club...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

sooooo....

You are admitting that the people to blame are the car drivers that kicked 1.5 million tons off the side of the road with their tire spin, that in turn was empirically proven to be clogging the stream beds?

So you are taking personal responsibility for the inevitable results of the actions of car drivers who were ruining the natural habitats of fish and other animals, causing them to die off?

Oh, right, you don't mean that sort of responsibility. You mean pointing the finger at the folks who are forcing people like you to take responsibility for the damage they are causing....

spalind (Dan Spalinger) said...

Ahh...Anonymous...the tag of the coward.

#1) Where is your empiric evidence with these attributable deaths cited? A Sierra Club funded study??

#2) Go sue god (small g) while you're at it. He does all sorts of bad things like landslides, avalanches, brush fires, etc. that do far worse.

#3) If individuals like you get your way, we'll all be living in urban communes, unable to leave for fear of stepping on an ant.

I believe in saving the environment for its own sake, not for your or anyone elses deluded socialist agenda. Mine is a far more noble position, your's is merely a exercise in intellectual masterbation.

peter. zachenheimer said...

You are emotional and sentimental.
After all it is a puplic road, I myself hated the gra el driving up there and so would 95% of everybody else. To maintain gravel is more expensive, its damaging vehicles, suspensions breaking windshields, dust blowing into the face of motorcycle drivers and its damaging the enviroment. So you are saying the street should stay unpaved just for a few with a strange hobby? Go blame yourself for preferring mud stones and dust to drive on.

Alfonso Delgadillo said...

Gotta love the irony, the Sierra Club wants a completely natural surface replaced with pavement, which is made from petroleum, therefore supporting the fossil fuel industry.

gardenofthedogs said...

U get it!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

lol, the sierra club owners are probably too scared to take the road up as it was, and wanted to make it easier. I like how people's laziness gets in the way of other people's fun. Pikes Peak was for recreation, not for commutes, and to make it easier for themselves they pull the nature card to push their point of view.
Racing on that mountain couldn't nearly produce the ammount of debris that naturally falls from that mountain on a daily basis. There are plenty of mountains to climb! If these people want adventure and like paying for it, go to an amusement park!

Anonymous said...

if the sierra club wants it paved, let them pay for it completely and also maintain it completely. they yell about people destroying nature, but lets cover up a natural road made with rocks and dirt that is on a BIG pile of dirt and rock