How to Fix Colorado’s I-70 Mountain Traffic: A Two-Pronged Approach

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As I write this on a Saturday night two days before Christmas, I-70 through the mountains west of Denver is completely shut down with no estimated time of reopening because: 1) Snow is falling faster than it can be plowed. 2) Visibility is ~5 ft. 3) There are more than a few crashes and slide-offs. Many people are trapped in their cars on the highway.

This is unusually bad, but every weekend, all year long, I-70 is bumper-to-bumper traffic.

I propose a solution. It has two prongs.

Prong 1: A train. The alignment would be roughly parallel to I-70. The trip would be faster and would remove cars from the highway. CDOT estimates this would cost $13–17 Billion, presumably with cities ponying up more for support infrastructure. That price tag is presently unfeasible politically.

Prong 2: HEAR ME OUT. Hear. Me. Out.

We make Denver better.

I know I lost some people there and they are not coming back. Thanks for staying with me.

We have engineered our cities to be places that we cannot wait to get out of. They are isolating, depressing, and unpleasantly beige. Cities can be built for comfort or they can be built for experience. We have by far chosen the former.

Comfort sounds nice — and it is — but few humans are ever content to sit and be comfortable forever. And if they are, there is likely some psychological pathology involved. See: Melania Trump.

We live in a prison of our own making. We have let car companies and TV producers and a desire to have the best lawn on our block dictate our built environment. And we can’t wait to get out.

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