As the world continues to add more and more people, and upward mobility allows more people access to basic technologies (like computers and cars), the world feels infinitely smaller. Over the last twenty years or so, there has been a focus on environmental responsibility, the containment of greenhouse gasses, and reductions of carbon emissions. Much of the discussion, though broad, has been focused on the almighty automobile. In this TED talk, the Chairman of Ford Motor Company discusses his obsession with cars, the environment, and the future of “global gridlock.”
The talk got me thinking a lot about Denver, and the biggest frustration I have with our city: traffic. Many of us live in Colorado to be in the mountains, which means hiking in the summer, and skiing in the winter. People come to live in our state from all around the country to experience the Rocky Mountain powder in Summit County and beyond. Last winter was epic for Colorado skiers and riders, many days were full-on powder bliss in the high country, while Denver remained fairly dry. There were only a few days when I didn’t want to ride last season, all due to my fear of horrible traffic delays on I-70.
The front range of Colorado is still experiencing growth, which is leading to more traffic on the highway systems around Denver and into summit county. For years, there have been initiatives to build rail systems in the mountains (including when Denver won the 1976 bid for winter Olympics, which it subsequently turned down due to high costs), and think tanks about how we might find a solution to the problem. Yet very little has happened. Road expansions can’t keep up with the influx of cars on the road, especially during ski season.
What are we doing as citizens of Denver, and lovers of the outdoors, to curb traffic gridlock in and around Denver? What needs to happen to alleviate the issue?