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View Poll Results: Are the Western states in their entirety that are developing too fast?
Yes there's many states developing too fast and there's not enough undisturbed places 28 36.84%
Most portions of the West developing at about the right, sensible pace 23 30.26%
There's many portions of the West that could be developing faster 25 32.89%
Voters: 76. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-16-2019, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,346 posts, read 2,768,739 times
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Living in Colorado, I've heard frequently that the whole state's overrun and crowded to the brim, ruined from the Californian or XYZians moving in, and we need to put legislation in place to limit this tide. This same refrain seems to be repeated from people in other western states. But the more I explore, the more I'm convinced this is BS and the people that keep repeating this are too lazy to look up a new area to go explore, don't bother trying to commute at anytime besides peak hours, and expect some of the the most scenic areas in the world to somehow be devoid of people. I'll agree that almost all the national parks are overpacked during nice times of the year, but there's more than enough public land to go around and it's so easy to find other beautiful areas that look similar. Also, we're not going to run out of elk, moose, ponderosa pines, or trout due to development or people wandering around in their habitat IMO.

When you look at the area as a whole, essentially there's just slivers of the west that are overcrowded while the vast majority has few people out and about or living there. Even along I-70 west of Denver, one of the most crowded interstates, there's so many hiking trails 1-1.5 hours away that have basically no one on them despite being the classic Rocky Mountain scenery people come to see. Urban areas in the west frequently have problems keeping up with the incoming population, but that's a planning problem or a problem to that small specific location. The southern coast of California is very likely as full as it should be, but I don't believe the entire state of California is all the way full when there's still so many counties in the north and eastern part state that are very sparsely inhabited that have the potential be. The same thing is true of Colorado, the front range is full, but not the entire western half.

Water will invariably come up in this discussion, and very little is left that could easily be tapped, but we're not close to running out if we take water used for agriculture and use that for development consumption. And yes, while there's barren portions of the west that couldn't reasonably be inhabited, there's millions and millions of untapped acres that could be, excluding the desert portions.

So, what do you think, looking at the area in it's entirety, not focusing on a few metros, would you say this part of the US overpacked?

Last edited by Phil P; 09-16-2019 at 10:20 PM..
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,473 posts, read 23,966,746 times
Reputation: 36382
I agree.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:19 PM
sub
 
Location: Up North
1,108 posts, read 517,404 times
Reputation: 1763
While Colorado isn't exactly the eastern seaboard, it is more crowded than I expected after exploring it some recently.
Kind of disappointed to be honest.
I still like the west better than the east, at least as far as being less crowded is concerned. I just wish it was even more wilderness-y.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,346 posts, read 2,768,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sub View Post
While Colorado isn't exactly the eastern seaboard, it is more crowded than I expected after exploring it some recently.
Kind of disappointed to be honest.
I still like the west better than the east, at least as far as being less crowded is concerned. I just wish it was even more wilderness-y.
I could see how you'd come away with that impression if you stayed on the I 70 corridor and spent your time in Summit County. But there's entire mountain ranges that are dedicated wilderness areas, and even in large swaths of the national forest areas, there's often so few people they're basically wilderness. For example, when I hiked one of the first 13ers available on I 70 (north side of Mt. Parnassus if you want to look it up), I ran into 2 people, saw a moose and a elk and the trails died as soon as you got above treeline. There's even more animals and less people further away. I don't know that more restricted access would have changed much. While many of the 14ers have grocery style check out line crowds, many 13ers or 12ers aren't even hiked enough to have a trail.

Last edited by Phil P; 09-16-2019 at 10:38 PM..
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:38 PM
 
283 posts, read 101,675 times
Reputation: 351
Denver is west?
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
5,491 posts, read 2,095,682 times
Reputation: 9897
Still room for Limon and Yuma and Springfield to become new Las Vegases.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,346 posts, read 2,768,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago_Person View Post
Denver is west?
Western US, yes by most definitions. It's where the mountains start.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
Still room for Limon and Yuma and Springfield to become new Las Vegases.
Limon counts as part of the basically non habitable portion . Yuma looks as sexy as Vegas though. I think I'd rather visit Yuma than Vegas...
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:16 PM
 
4,810 posts, read 2,929,999 times
Reputation: 4320
It's important to slow sprawl, if not stop it entirely. The coastal states have done this. The interior states mostly don't seem to care.

I'm a big fan of growth, but it should be mostly infill, and at minimum very tightly controlled if it's outward.
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:31 PM
Status: "Coffee is at least 3 of my food groups" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Chi > DC > Reno > SEA
1,953 posts, read 909,316 times
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Denver's population density, as of 2017, is 4,044 people per square mile.

Detroit, which has been emptying out for decades, has block after block with one or two occupied houses on them, and is about the farthest thing you could call from "crowded", still has a density of 4,878 people per square mile.
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:42 PM
 
3,038 posts, read 1,280,580 times
Reputation: 3031
80% of the US population lives east of Dallas. When you look at it like that, the West is significantly underpopulated.
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