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  • Writer's pictureKarla Trippe

Why Won’t Colorado Fix Its Mountain Congestion?

People seemed to respond to last week’s blog on air pollution, so I thought I would share another teeth-grinding story.

We are fortunate to own a ski condo in Summit County. My husband uses it every season, as he still enjoys powder days. But this past weekend made him wonder if it’s still worth the trouble. First, it took him four hours to reach Silverthorne from DIA. This headache was primarily due to the backup from Georgetown to the tunnel. He sat in stop-and-go traffic for more than two hours on a trip that regularly takes about 30 minutes.

My husband would be happy to take a bus or a train, but there are only shuttle vans operating in the mountains. And for some unknown reason, the free bus service available in Summit Country and the city of Vail isn’t attached to a service on I-70. Train service, which was possible if it went through tunnels, was never approved by the mountain towns, particularly those concerned it would affect their tourism economy.

What’s more frustrating is the lack of shuttle service between the ski towns. For marketing reasons, the towns want you to come and never leave the area you visit. But again, this makes no sense as the region would benefit from an intelligent transportation service set up along resort towns. That would prevent want happened last Saturday when it took two hours to get from Vail to Frisco (less than a 30-minute drive) due to snow and the need for trucks to chain up. There is no adequate area to perform this requirement, so the trucks block the roads, causing back-ups.

Nothing I am writing is new information. But what is head-scratching is knowing the need to reduce carbon dioxide, particularly by idling cars, is a problem Colorado refuses to fix. Their solution? Add another car lane. How does that solve air pollution?

If there is something Colorado is doing to fix this problem, please let me know. Otherwise, as homeowners, we will decide each year if it’s worth the hassle of adding to global warming by trying to ski in our beloved mountains.

Next week I will be writing about the water fights that are beginning due to the declining supply in the Colorado River.


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