Thursday, February 26, 2015

Colorado DOT flummoxed by Mystery of the Serial Book Dumper

Since December, the Colorado Department of Transportation has been trying to solve a mystery: Who’s been dumping hundreds of books on a stretch of Highway 287 outside of Boulder? The latest incident occurred Monday, Feb. 23.

CDOT spokesman Jared Fiel says the agency has collected more than 300 books so far, but hasn’t been able to pick up any clues as to who’s doing the littering.

“It’s very random, except that it’s along the same stretch of Highway 287,” Fiel said in a phone interview with Land Line. “It seems deliberate. It’s not like (a vehicle would be) turning right there. They’re often in the median. We’re not finding them anywhere else.”

In the beginning, the books were mostly “romance novels” but lately it’s become “a more eclectic mix” according to Fiel.  

While most of the tomes are paperback, Fiel said it still presents a travel and safety issue for motorists and for the DOT employees who have to go out and pick up the mess by hand.

“It’s very frustrating because that’s a pretty heavily traveled road,” he said. “It’s just so stupid and so frustrating for our guys. Obviously this is snow season so they’re working late nights/early mornings and then during the day they’re out there picking this stuff up.”

Most of the books end up being thrown away because “they’re pretty trashed” he said.

Fiel said the agency doesn’t really have any ideas as to why the books have been littering that particular stretch of road.

CDOT is asking for the public’s help in catching the perpetrator or perpetrators. If you spot suspicious activity along the road, contact the main number for CDOT at 303-757-9011.