Fighting delays on the way to DIA
Re: “Peña Boulevard: Expand or not?” Aug. 13 news story
When Peña Boulevard was designed, it was meant to be a service road for Denver International Airport. It was not intended to become a major artery for the housing that has been built since the mid-1990s. The question is: What should be done, and who should pay for it?
An easy solution would be to restrict access to Peña. If one could only enter Peña Boulevard from Interstate 70 and E-470, the only vehicles on the road would be going to and from the airport as was originally planned. Traffic on Peña would be instantly reduced by 27%. But this would not please commuters or the off-airport hotels.
If access is not restricted, additional lanes must be added. But why should the airport pay for this? The prime beneficiaries would be developers who will build even more houses which will eventually re-create the same issue of congestion in the future. More lanes have never been a long-term solution to traffic problems. But if developers are willing to pay for these, they should be given the option to do so.
Alternatively, Peña could be made into a toll road. Increasing the cost of driving on Peña is a surefire way to reduce non-airport traffic and would also stimulate the use of public transportation to and from DIA, especially if the A-Train to DIA from the Colorado and 40th Street station became a free ride. It would only work for drop-offs and pickups — like how many passengers go to and from the terminal at DIA today.
Guy Wroble, Denver
In the eyes of some, adding more traffic lanes will solve the problem. That will allow for more cars, which will, over time, mean that more lanes will need to be built, and more lanes, and more lanes …
When will a reality check occur? When will our “leaders” and “planners” talk honestly about growth in the metro area? Unless one lives in an ivory tower, it should be obvious that growth is an issue when we cannot even take care of what we have now. Look at the streets in Denver. They are a joke. Consider that garbage cannot seem to get picked up on time. It is not clear to me where our tax dollars go, but most certainly they are not going to handle the basics.
What are we thinking? Will a magic solution to our water woes be found? Will our quality of life see an uptick with more growth? The metro area is turning into the same kind of place that has caused so many Californians to move here.
The time-honored notion of living within our means applies to cities just as much as it does to individuals.
Ben Palen, Denver
When the A-line to DIA opened, we would drive from our home in Lakewood to the RTD Central Park Station and park — not zero tailpipe emissions but less than driving the whole way. That ended with the theft of our catalytic converter at the Central Park lot. Now we take a rideshare to/from Union Station and take the A-line, leaving our car in the security of our garage.
Why not use the money needed to expand Peña Boulevard for security at the parking lots, like what is employed at commercial lots — fenced areas with access control. Keep the parking fees low, as they are now. It would encourage people who would drive from their homes to the airport to use the A-line for a portion of the trip. Increased highway congestion would provide additional incentive. It would offer a practical alternative to highway expansion and lower tailpipe emissions instead of increasing them.
David Wolf, Lakewood
CDOT ignores the worst bottleneck in the Denver metro area. Interstate 270 is a logjam day in and day out, all hours of the day. It is a major connector that is completely ignored. In fact, it helps to connect with Peña Boulevard. The design is disastrous, with two exits/entrances back to back, and those ramps carry an inordinate amount of semis. This should be a top priority for CDOT before spending another dime on its pet DIA projects. I can drive Peña in half the time it takes to cover I-270 on any given day. The distance that needs to be upgraded is minimal, but this stretch is a major headache.
Jeanne Hedman, Aurora
Give new mayor time to act
Re: “Mayor Johnston’s focus, one month in,” Aug. 13 letter to the editor
I read a letter to the editor in which the writer voiced legitimate concerns about Mayor Mike Johnston’s focus on homelessness when there are other issues that need attention as well. I would like to respectfully ask the writer (and everyone in Denver): Will you please give Johnston a chance? He is less than one month into his mayorship. He cannot be expected to tackle every issue immediately.
Bart Cox, Denver
Bicycle, pedestrian safety requires all of us
Re: “Streets are getting safer for cyclists, but tensions remain,” Aug. 11 news story
Kudos to Denver city planners for implementing the first stages of “Vision Zero.” Although the bike network is still piecemeal, I feel much safer cycling in Denver than I did even five or ten years ago.
To motorists who feel entitled to 100% of the road: Cyclists and pedestrians just want their fair share. We need dedicated routes to move around our city safely, without fear of deadly interactions with cars. It shouldn’t take tragedies to motivate common-sense changes.
Currently, cars control the vast majority of North American infrastructure both in terms of mileage and funding. If we divert even a fraction of this funding towards safer, more sustainable modes of transit, the results will pay dividends.
Andrew Neely, Denver
I see the two bicycle riders on the front page of The Denver Post. One of the riders is not even within the bike lane. It seems like some bike riders feel entitled to ride the line or ride several abreast. I was hit by a car several years ago, but the driver was blinded by the morning sun. I feel privileged to be able to still ride a bicycle. I believe that more courtesy and common sense should be practiced by riders, especially with so many speeding on e-bikes.
Kimberly Schwindt, Fort Collins
Of course, there is no question that cyclists, like all other traffic participants, deserve safe streets. They also need to take personal responsibility for their own safety. Whenever I see bicyclists ride two or three (sometimes more) abreast, I question their sanity. It is difficult for motorists to navigate cyclists who take up the whole street that way. I call on all cyclists to please ride single file, at all times, on all roadways that cars also use.
Floy Jeffares, Lakewood
The problem of wolf reintroduction
Re: “Colorado still looking for wolves as deadline nears,” Aug. 12 news story
How much money — per “wolf-capita” — is it costing taxpayers in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon to import wolves onto the Western Slope by the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve? Let’s add in all U.S. taxpayers since the federal government is working its way through public comments and environmental analysis on the 10(j) wolf management decision.
Now we have supply chain issues. Idaho won’t pony up their wolves because they already have enough legal headaches and don’t want more. “If we gave wolves to Colorado, it’s likely that those wolves and the descendants of those wolves will end up in states that didn’t ask for them.” The majority of Western Slope residents will point out that they didn’t ask for wolves either.
Wyoming said no because of the porous border between our two states and the tendency of apex predators to roam. Oregon, Washington, and Montana might consider exporting some of their wolves, pending environmental impact statements and a range of bureaucratic processes.
If this were an interstate transmission line bringing clean electricity to millions of homes across those six states, the cost and bother would make sense to me. We’re talking about a handful of wolves.
Kathy Fackler, Durango
As one of the proponents of the ballot initiative to reintroduce wolves back to Colorado, I am both sickened and appalled but certainly not surprised by the refusal of certain western states to work together with Colorado to restore wolves back to our wildlife-loving state. Here we are, over 80 years since wolves were brutally decimated throughout our country. Yet, as evidenced in the article, the same myths, lies, and hatred of these magnificent, sentient animals still pervade parts of our country, particularly in the American West.
I am so proud to be a Coloradan and to have played a significant role in the long pursuit of justice for these beautiful creatures. It is truly deplorable on the part of both Wyoming and Idaho to choose not to help Colorado with our wolf restoration plan. We wish to rescue and save your wolves. You wolf-haters only wish to kill them. Shame on you!
Gail Bell, Denver
Citizen initiatives and hypocrisy
Re: “Ohio just showed the world how to save democracy,” Aug. 13 commentary
How is it that so-called democracy was saved when a proposal to make it more difficult to amend Ohio’s Constitution by ballot measures was defeated, yet similar restrictions on citizen initiative thresholds were deemed necessary and praiseworthy when passed by the Colorado Legislature?
Or does the issue of the day determine the need?
Does not the publication of the Andreas Kluth column reek of hypocrisy?
Russell W Haas, Golden