TELLER COUNTY — The leaves are changing in Colorado’s high country which means packed roads in the weeks ahead. All are welcome to enjoy the views, but all the traffic creates safety concerns.
"This time of year is always the busiest time of year for us,” said Sgt. Jake Marcus with Teller County Sheriff’s Office, “Traffic does increase." The leaves are enticing to watch; if you are behind the wheel, the better term is distraction. "If you're driving around, stay focused on the road, don't worry about the leaves.” On narrow mountain roads there is rarely room to pull off on the shoulder. Many do it anyway and law enforcement has to tell them to move. "It does create a lot of issues with traffic flow,” said Marcus, “In addition to that, it creates safety hazards for everyone else that's also coming up here for the leaves." Pedestrians also need a warning. Walking where it is narrow is not wise. Then turning your back for a picture increases the danger.
The warnings are not to discourage visitors. All the leaf watchers also stop at gas stations, shops and restaurants. That is good for the economy in mountain towns.