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Thoughts and Experiences from the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado

Rocky Mountain News gets it wrong about FasTracks

Peter

The Rocky Mountain News gets it wrong today in their editorial in today's paper.  Their editorial, "Best of bad options: smaller FasTracks," calls for cutting the North Metro, Northwest, and Interstate 225 FasTrack lines because the projected ridership is too low. Well I would have to disagree.  I live up north and I am quite tired of getting the shaft in the metro Denver area.  All the infrastructure development (highways and light rail) are in the central and south.  

The commute in the north is now approaching, if not already, the worst commute in the metro Denver area.  On cue, the traffic backs up before 6 AM going south-bound starting at 84th Avenue and is quickly backed-up to 120th Avenue.  Let there be an accident and it it quickly up to 136th or 144th.

It is even worse coming home in the evening, coming to a complete stop at the intersections of I-25, U.S. 36, and I-76.

The I-225 corridor and U.S. 36 corridors are just as bad.

The north metro Denver area has seen explosive population growth, but no improvement in the infrastructure from the powers-that-be.  I would take Light Rail to work from the minute it opened.

I work at the Denver Federal Center.  I have explored taking the bus to work, but there is no good route and it would take me about 1 to 1.5 hours to get to work.  It is just not feasible when I can drive their in 30 - 45 minutes.  Light rail would get me there in a much more reasonable time with a lot fewer emissions.

I am tired of the north Metro area getting ignored by Colorado Department of Transportation and Regional Transportation District.  We pay taxes and deserve highways that aren't always congested and a light rail system to help us get around.

By putting in the light rail to the north, I-225, and U.S. 36 corridor it would help take traffic off the roads, prolonging their life, and clean the air.  There is proof that people like Light Rail.  As soon as a line opens up, it is at capacity.

Maybe RTD and CDOT should partner with Regional Air Quality Council to develop more stable financing and other potential ways to cover the skyrocketing, which shouldn't be blamed on RTD because the costs are rising much faster than thought would happen or was expected, while preserving FasTracks as envisioned by the voters.

Now don't get me started about the city of Golden doing everything in their power to prevent the completion of the beltway around the metro Denver area.  They are a player in this community and the completion of this section of beltway will help reduce traffic and meet the air quality standards.

With the Democratic National Convention in Denver this week, the Democrats should step up and offer to help push through money to help complete this project and provide alternative transportation opportunities for metro Denver.

RTD, CDOT, Regional Air Quality Council, and Denver Regional Council of Governments need to come together and solve this conundrum.