IDAHO SPRINGS - When you ask drivers what causes the traffic problems going back and forth from the mountains on the weekend, they will likely have an common answer. When you tell drivers, CDOT blames them, they are perplexed.
"They're blaming me, yeah, definitely not us," traveler Daphnie Csendes, said.
Thursday, the Colorado Department of Transportation released a statement blaming drivers with in-state license plates and bald tires for causing big traffic delays during bad weather conditions to and from the mountains.
"No sir, I totally disagree with that 100 percent," Colorado resident Jeff Yuse said. "Living in Colorado, that's one of the things I make sure I have is good tires. I think that's just passing it off to the locals."
Jared Haman says he has not experienced problems from drivers on bald tires despite his regular travels from Denver into the mountains, year-round.
"I haven't really seen a whole lot of accidents, even in the snow," Haman said.
Kayla Haman believes CDOT just wants to point fingers.
"Everybody has to blame somebody," Haman said.
Ty Weber says he drives to work from Idaho Springs to Loveland Valley Ski Resort every day of the week.
"I think that's a horrible statement to make. My tires on my Jeep are perfectly fine," Weber said. "People that drive too fast is also an issue. You see people who go flying by and you catch up to them in the ditch."
Weber and other travelers say driving behaviors is a big part of the blame.
"I think it's just bad driving, like people in the snow around the curves. They go really slow in the curves," Yuse said.
The other big factor, they say, is just pure numbers.
"I think there's just so much volume of traffic," Haman, said.
CDOT is working on a plan to expand the eastbound shoulder from Empire to the newly-widened tunnel near Idaho Springs to alleviate the congestion headed back to Denver.
"There's plenty of times when I wish I could get on that side of the shoulder and take my way home," Weber said.
So in a different way, the reason is the drivers.
"It's everybody really. It's not in-state. It's not out of state. It's all of us combined," Weber said.
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