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Old 01-26-2008, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Denver
3,242 posts, read 8,158,565 times
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Wow, this guy must not want to get re-elected.

9NEWS - Article - Lawmaker considers fee for skiers taking I-70
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Old 01-26-2008, 01:27 AM
 
Location: Westminster, CO
271 posts, read 1,315,706 times
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What do you think we should do about the congestion on I-70? I haven't even bothered going skiing yet this season in part because I don't really like sitting in traffic trying to get up there. Do you? We will pay for access to the mountains one way or another.
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:32 AM
 
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are there any other viable alternate routes or is 70 the only regularly plowed road to the high country? i obviously don't live in denver yet but wonder how bad this will be.
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 9,057,856 times
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A couple of years ago there was a ballot measure (I think) to try and get a monorail from Denver to Vail. The Denver voters decided against this measure because the cost, in terms of tax dollars, was too high. However, I think they made a bad decision. The traffic problem has continued to get worse, and paying a fee to drive the road seems wrong if there is not an alternative form of transportation. I hope Denver changes its mind about a monorail, or another form of transportation, in the near future.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Colorado, Denver Metro Area
1,048 posts, read 4,141,130 times
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I am open on this but kind of leaning against it. Why? Well:

1. Adding this system will slow down traffic in the first place.

2. This system is encouraging others to drive early/later than peak hours. People who are driving are grownups. So, if they ant to avoided it they could easily drive earlier/later themselves.

3. What is REALLY needed and a SOLUTION is a Mass Transit System. Costly? Yep! But that is the ultimate solution for the future growth of Colorado.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Westminster, CO
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There are no other routes to the ski areas that wouldn't take much longer. You can take US-285 to Summit County, but you are guaranteed to spend at least twice as long as the minimum time I-70 would take. You can take CO-14 (north of RMNP) to get to Winter Park, but you are guaranteed to take almost 3 times as long as the minimum via I-70. There are only a few choices where you can reasonably avoid taking I-70: Echo Mountain Park and Eldora.

So, yes, I agree, it is time for Colorado voters to suck up the cost of a mass transit system to the mountains.

Here's an admittedly biased site, but it offers an interesting & obviously very well explored justification and concept for mountain mass transit: Trains Not Lanes Site Index
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:30 AM
 
23,639 posts, read 43,709,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oberon View Post
... yes, I agree, it is time for Colorado voters to suck up the cost of a mass transit system to the mountains. Here's an admittedly biased site, but it offers an interesting & obviously very well explored justification and concept for mountain mass transit: Trains Not Lanes Site Index
Super website, agree with its message. Even the ski assoc wants high speed transit from DIA, through Denver and on up to the resorts as a long-term fix. I don't want money spent on more lanes, it sucks away resources needed to get the right solution, which is rails. Near-term, resorts should do as casino's, hire bus firms to provide service from RTD stops, parking lots around town & DIA. You get 40-50 people in a bus in the same highway space as two cars.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Camelot
353 posts, read 1,627,533 times
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The cost of a massive mass transit system to the mountains should not be absorbed and funded by Colorado tax payers. I don't buy the idea that we should subsidize a more convenient path for skiers to quickly get to their destinations. I would propose tolling the interstate west of Golden at a reasonable rate to expand the lanes and perhaps add double decker bridges and tunnels to alleviate traffic. Sure, a train would be nice for people arriving at DIA as an express trip to the resorts but I don't think people in this area want to be inconvenienced by leaving their cars at home. People who contribute to the problem should contribute to the solution. If the government is going to shell out *billions* of dollars to fix traffic then it needs to see a return on the investment. I-70 with a higher capacity will profoundly contribute more money to Colorado's economy by allowing more travelers to cross the state rather than a train that will pamper skiers in the winter.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Westminster, CO
271 posts, read 1,315,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikieo415 View Post
The cost of a massive mass transit system to the mountains should not be absorbed and funded by Colorado tax payers. I don't buy the idea that we should subsidize a more convenient path for skiers to quickly get to their destinations. I would propose tolling the interstate west of Golden at a reasonable rate to expand the lanes and perhaps add double decker bridges and tunnels to alleviate traffic. Sure, a train would be nice for people arriving at DIA as an express trip to the resorts but I don't think people in this area want to be inconvenienced by leaving their cars at home. People who contribute to the problem should contribute to the solution. If the government is going to shell out *billions* of dollars to fix traffic then it needs to see a return on the investment. I-70 with a higher capacity will profoundly contribute more money to Colorado's economy by allowing more travelers to cross the state rather than a train that will pamper skiers in the winter.
What do you call a highway? Not a 100% subsidy, even though it's paid for entirely by taxpayers, whereas users always pay a fare to ride a train? How about the wear and tear on your car as you sit idle waiting for the traffic to clear? Not a subsidy, even though it's paid out of your pocket? How about the pollution caused by everyone using cars to get out there? Not a subsidy, even though you'll pay for that through medical bills (or perhaps more directly, health insurance premiums)?

How are you going to expand I-70 without causing even more inconvenience to people trying to go skiing, for the 15 years CDOT says it will take to expand the highway just to 3 lanes each direction from Floyd Hill to Vail? Do you think building a train would be subject to the same amount of inconvenience? Considering it wouldn't have to be built on the same level or even on the same kind of terrain...

How is it efficient to use cars that carry 1/10th the number of people as an equivalent length train? Especially considering each car has a driver whereas the train has 1 driver for all of its passengers (or maybe even none!), has a larger & thus more efficient engine, and can use electricity, which can derive its energy from any source rather than just oil.

Most of the I-70 traffic is caused by Front Range residents, not by people flying in to ski.. so who's really benefiting from a train being built to the mountains? How many people do anything other than drive straight to the resort, then drive straight home? Maybe they'll go to another resort on the same day, which, surprise surprise, would have a stop on the transit system. My apres-ski, if any, is almost always at the resort. What convenience, then, is having a car out there?

I agree with MFBE... at the very least, in the short-medium term, regular bus service should be offered to the mountains (perhaps subsidized by the toll you're talking about). However, I don't think it will be an attractive alternative unless it has its own right of way.
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:22 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 27,699,166 times
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Simply stated, the Summit County ski areas were built in the wrong place for railroad service. Numerous surveys were made, beginning in the 1870's, to locate a railroad over the Continental Divide in that vicinity. The Colorado Central Railroad got as far as Silver Plume (a little piece of which was rebuilt as today's Georgetown Loop tourist railroad). Beyond that, no feasible route could ever be located with grades shallow enough for a regular "adhesion" (not cog) railway. That conundrum is no different today. To build to Summit County, a long railroad tunnel would be needed, miles more lengthy and at lower elevation than the Eisenhower highway tunnels. As the builders of the Moffat railroad tunnel discovered in the 1920's and the builders of the Eisenhower tunnel discovered in the 1970's, the rock in that portion of Colorado's Continental Divide is fairly "rotten" in a lot of places, which means high drilling and maintenance costs, with the entire tunnel usually not being in self-supporting rock.

Summit County did have railroad service at one time. It came from Denver via the South Platte River drainage, over Kenosha Pass to Como, thence over Boreas Pass to Breckenridge and down to Dillon. Another route came via Leadville, Fremont Pass, past what is now Copper Mountain and Tenmile Canyon. Of course those are all long gone, slaughtered by the Silver Panic of 1893, then the Great Depression, and--mostly--by the federal subsidization of highway building.

Most likely, buses will be what replace autos on the "I-70 Sacrifice Zone" route to the mountains. As far as expanding I-70, I think it is a pure waste of money to expand a road upon which few middle-class Americans will be able to afford to drive in a few years. The automobile as we know is going to become an unaffordable dinosaur in this country in not too many years. The sooner we move to something else, the better. If Summit County once again becomes a bunch of ghost towns because of a sea-change in economics and technology, too bad for them--it's not the first time that's happened there.
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