Colorado

Dec 5, 2009 7:37 AM by Nicole Vandeputte

Controversy over Pueblo Toy Run

There is some controversy surrounding the Pueblo Toy Run. It's the oldest toy run west of the Mississippi.

Last year, more than 1,000 bikers rode across Pueblo to bring toys to local children in need. Monica Martinez is part of Pueblo Bikers United. They've organized this event for the last 32 years. She says, "It doesn't matter who you are, it's going to get to you because it's such an overwhelming sight."

On Saturday morning they'll ride again. This year Pueblo Bikers United hit a road block. Sgt. Steve Zittel with the Pueblo Police Department says, "In the beginning we were talking about limiting 500 bikes, because it's so large and it disrupts the city." Martinez responds, "Now, it's like we are being held back from doing too much, from being too good, from being a success."

The problem is that the route for the toy run takes the bikers through Pueblo, clogging major roads. It starts at South High School and winds north, crossing Highway 50, and ends at the Harley Davidson on the north side of town.
 
Police say they get a lot of complaints from drivers each year who are caught in the back-up. They are worried about public safety. Martinez says, "I don't understand. This is one day a year and it's benefiting our entire community."

After several calls and emails in support of this ride, police changed their mind. Sgt. Zittel says, "The police department is inviting all bikers to participate in this event. We're not limiting the size or number of bikes in the toy run."

That doesn't mean this ride will be safe in the future. "I think there's always going to be discussions, but I don't know if it will ever come true," says Sgt. Zittel.

Monica hopes that doesn't happen. To the drivers who complain she says, "Maybe we helped somebody they know; a family member, a daughter, a brother. It all just kind of comes full circle, and we just need to be there."

If you would like to ride on Saturday morning be at South High School on Hollywood drive at 10 a.m.

You must be a licensed, insured motorcycle driver.

To be a part of the run, you must donate at least $1, or an unused toy.

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