Traffic was really, really heavy this past weekend. Fresh snow and optimal ski conditions, the International Snow Sculpture Championships, and the X Games, led to a perfect storm which made navigating the high country (in the words of more than a few Facebook posters) unbearable.
Here at the I-70 Coalition, we want to let you all know that we’re here, we’re listening, and we are working towards a congestion free future. One day there will be a long-term solution to I-70’s traffic woes, and we don’t necessarily know what that solution will look like yet. It could be a high-speed train, connected self-driving vehicles, an enormous zipline, a hot air balloon transit system, or just a bigger and better (less steep and curvy) highway all together.
In the meantime, we don’t need to suffer this much. It is time to do something about it. We need to get more people into fewer vehicles; we need you to carpool more. This post is a call to action: It is an opportunity to engage with us and become our partner in making I-70 a more pleasant place to drive.
There are a lot of theories about what causes traffic, and occasionally we all get sucked into playing the blame game. We find ourselves blaming 2WD rental cars, or tractor trailer trucks; unlawful and aggressive drivers, bald tires, snow removal crews, and the weather.
But the truth is, efforts at addressing these issues have been successful. Tire, chain, and traction laws have been enforced more effectively. Accidents have been reduced – and when they do happen, they are cleared more quickly. Snow removal has become faster and more efficient, and 92% of all freight that travels on I-70 now moves through the corridor during off-peak times.
These small wins should be celebrated, but they are bittersweet. The bitterness being that traffic still gets worse, and will continue to get worse as more people move to the Front Range, and travel demand in the mountains keeps rising.
Without intervention, our highways, local roads, and trailheads will remain clogged with cars. Harmful greenhouse gas emissions will continue to flood Colorado’s air, infect Colorado’s plants, and leach into Colorado’s watersheds. Traffic hurts not only us, but the environment too.
You may read this and ask, “what can I do?”
Well, we understand that many of you are already carpooling. Thank you, we appreciate you, and we still need your help! If you have extra seats in your car, please try to fill them. Register at https://www.skicarpool.org/.
If you are new to carpooling, check out https://goi70.com/rideshare. It has information on where in the Front Range to meet up for carpooling and lists the carpool incentives that different ski resorts offer.
We are working on new projects, and we will need your help. If you are interested in maximizing your impact and encouraging your friends, neighbors, colleagues, and peers to carpool – please become our partner and subscribe to our newsletter at https://goi70.com/newsletter. We will be in touch about the next steps, and how you can become a more active part of the solution.
The most important thing to remember is that congestion is avoidable, and we all have the power to help fix it. If you need a good reason to spread the doctrine of carpool, do it for your wallet, do it for your health, and do it for the trees. Trees may be great at absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but they certainly can’t do it all on their own; they need some help from us too.
I-70 belongs to all who travel it, and together we can make things better. Thanks for your time and hard work. Please share this article, and reach out to us.
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