Well, Big Bear. We survived the first major winter holiday period. Two more to go.
As with every winter holiday period, especially when there is snow in the mix, there are challenges. Herding an expanded population into a specifically designed traffic management plan can be daunting. But we think the plan is working.
Yes, there are a lot of people on the road. Yes, there are people who are using their GPS and not following the signage and end up in the wrong place. Yes, traffic moves slowly at times during the day. And yes, not everyone who visits follows the rules and plays nice.
We live in a four-season resort town. Our economy depends on the visitors, whether they use their GPS or not. Big Bear as a community stakes its reputation on getting those visitors to do just that — visit Big Bear. Anyone who lives in this community who doesn’t think Big Bear should welcome visitors shouldn’t live in a tourist town.
In recent years this Valley’s leaders have found a way to work through the challenges with positive solutions to traffic during peak periods. We encourage those leaders — from local government, the resorts, private sector and community organizations — to continue to refine and improve the plans that are in place.
Additionally, we encourage those same leaders to turn their attention to finding solutions for trash and debris left behind following a busy weekend or holiday period. The Grizzly realizes manners and good stewardship are taught at home and we aren’t able to change some people’s poor habits. But as a community, if we look for ways to make it easier for visitors to practice good manners, we might have a better chance at keeping our Valley clean.
Maybe it’s additional Dumpsters in public areas, reminders handed out at the point of purchase, a free drink or a coupon for a discount for anyone who deposits his or her broken sled or trash appropriately.
We laud Big Bear Lake Brewing Company and The Bone Yard for offering a beer to residents who bring in broken sled refuse this week. It’s a positive light on a tough battle.
Big Bear isn’t the only community dealing with the plastic sled waste. The Nevada Department of Transportation cleaned up 1,920 pounds of sled debris and plastic waste from Spooner Summit Sled Hill in Tahoe after the holiday. Maybe all the winter resort leaders can put their collective heads together to find a solution that is universal. It’s worth the time to start a conversation.