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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-July 13, 2022-If you have ever followed a Steamboat Springs Transit (SST) bus through downtown, you’ve probably seen it straying left of center into the adjacent lane at times. Believe it or not, the driver wasn’t being inattentive to lane placement, they were carefully avoiding hazards from vehicles parked on the side of the road.
While other motorists might find this technique perplexing, it is a public safety measure that SST drivers are required to follow. Drivers maintain four feet of space on the right side for better visibility and a greater likelihood of avoiding contact with opening car doors, pedestrians stepping out between cars, or vehicles pulling out without first checking traffic flows.
The four-foot zone is needed because when a bus passes, it creates turbulence strong enough to pull open a partially opened door. This means SST drivers will favor the left of the lane and may at times straddle the broken white line dividing the lanes, depending upon how vehicles are parked along the curb. They do not have the option of using the inside lane because they must be prepared to pull off the road into bus stops every two blocks.
SST drivers may continue to favor the left of the lane even over stretches of road with open parking if they see parked cars ahead that they will eventually need to keep clear of. This is because moving over to the left can be a hazardous maneuver around other traffic; rather than move back and forth from the left side of the lane to the center, the bus driver prefers to stay left until the right side is completely free of hazards.
“We know we’re all trying to get to where we’re going in town safely and that includes Steamboat Springs Transit,” said Jonathan Flint, Transit Manager for the City of Steamboat Springs. “All our drivers appreciate everyone’s patience so that we can safely negotiate through town this summer.”
ContactJonathan Flint, Transit Manager, 970.879.3717 or emailTyler Kern, Operations Supervisor, 970.879.3717 or emailMichael Lane, Communications Manager, 970.871.8220 or email