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Discussion Starter #1
in 2002 we made a decission to leave Colorado for Utah. A major factor in that decission was skiing. Here is a typical conversation I hav on the lift today. Where you from? XXXX. We skiied summit county for years, but now we can come here, ski just as many areas and only ride 30 minutes from the airport.

The resort industry their needs to do something about that traffic. You have some of the most amazing resorts on earth, but you are losing the high ticket skiers that stay a week and pump money into the economy because of the traffic jam. I don't know the answer, but I'd be interested in hearing your ideas. I understand it has gotten alot worse since 02.

Not intereseted in an in resort out of resort debate.
 

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traffic???never been caught in it....oh yeah i work weekends...midweeks rock

now denver traffic....now that sucks
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your thoughtful responses! Clearly I am a geek to be interested by this logistical nightmare.

The snow is still coming down!!
 

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well there isnt many options to the traffic mess on 70....the only logistical thing that could be done is push weekday skiing...what else could be done...there is the ski train...but with only running one it does not have a noticable effect on traffic...
 

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Why not have train(s) that disgorge skiers at Winter Park, Kremmling, State Bridge and Glenwood with public transport from train stations to Steamboat, Summit, Vile and Hasbeen? Seems kinda simple, and way more fun than dealing with I-70 and US 40.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ski train

I used to rent out a couple cars on the ski train for a client outing every year. The problems with it were down town parking, and it was really slow. If they built a train to summit with a supporting bus system, it would be great. Particularly if it ran more than once a day.

What about banning semis on that section of interstate during weekend. What about widening the corridor. What about free parking for parties with four or more in their car. What about making the flow one lane in the wrong direction. Lots of possible solutions, none of which are easy, and none of which will solve the full problem by itself.
 

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2 new lanes that go towards summit in the morning, towards Denver in the afternoon. Add a new tunnel at Eisenhower for the directional lanes. Use toll revenues to finance a large portion of the project. That would double the capacity in each direction at peak traffic times. Rather expensive - yes. Effective - yes.

Does anybody know why they stopped using three lanes directionally at Eisenhower? The worst traffic jams happen when they close Loveland pass and then stop traffic entirely to let hazardous vehicles pass through the tunnel. Allowing one bore to stay open to 2 way traffic while allowing hazardous vehicles to pass through the other would at least make the traffic jams a little less serious. Also a third bore would go a long way in these situations - as would banning hazardous materials vehicles from the tunnel during peak traffic times.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Now that is the sort of stimulus project I could get behind!! To Nor Co's point, the areas out here have weekday passes that are a couple hundred cheaper. Problem is that your season passes are so cheap already.
 

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Hey Canada. You can go to CDOT's Web site and get all the ideas that people have brought up in all the town meetings they have had over the last 2 years. No decisions yet but all the ideas brought up by CDOT and the Public are on there.

Why the f shut the tunnel down to thousands of skiers to let a few haz mat truckers through the tunnel is beyond me. Let those dudes sit until after 9AM then let them through. Rocket science.
 

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Widening is a non-starter. You would have to wipe out Idaho Springs, Dumont, the existing train from Georgetown to Silverplume, and Silverplume to widen the road.

Stacking one set of lanes over the other aka I70 at Hanging Lakes would work but is mega $. At that point a monorail train in the median is the way to go.

Nothing will ever happen. There are too many NOT WITH MY TAXDOLLARS republicans to ever allow the money to be spent for the real capital that needs to be spent to fix the I70 corridor.
 

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Some form of mass transit (train/bus system) is the way to go. Problem is that you need to convince travelers that it's the way to go. To do that, there must be some form of financial incentive. Even though passes are cheap already, maybe some sort of rebate system (think REI) for using MT, free perks or reduced package deals with the resorts, etc. There is no easy solution, but if the situation gets bad enough, something will happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Situation

The situation is bad enough. In my mind, weekend skiing was unbearable in 02, and I understand it is worse now. I remember when they first put in light rail. Everyone said no one would use it. From the very first days, you had to go to one of the first stops to even get a spot on the train it was so crowded. If an affordable and viable alternative is found, people will flock to it.
 

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If I could take an affordable bus or train that ran multiple times a day I'd never take my car up I-70 again.
 

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I'm all for public transportation, especially rail. But here are some problems with rail that need to be overcome:

- Cost. I'm not even talking about construction costs, I'm talking about the cost of a ticket once it's rolling. How much would it cost? I'm thinking at least $10 per person round trip, probably much higher. I think it's nearly that to take the bus to Eldora now. At that rate, a party of four pays $40 to go to the hill. Quite a bit more expensive than piling into the car (depending on the car). And if you look around while you're stopped in that ski traffic, there really aren't too many single-person cars.
- Convenience. As mentioned earlier, it is a PITA to take the ski train. You have to park, get ALL your stuff ('cause you can't come back to it at lunch), and board the train (bus). It is much easier to have your own car.
- Parking in Denver. The T-Rex lots fill up with carpoolers. Imagine if all these people wanted to take the train/bus. If FasTracks ever gets finished, we can use those P 'n R lots too, but then you're adding a transfer, adding time, etc. Plus many P 'n Rs are now charging to park (maybe not on weekends and maybe not if you live in the RTD, for now)
- Transportation from I-70 to the ski area. This is probably the easiest obstacle to overcome as a simple bus shuttle would do the truck. But it's another pain in the butt.

Bottom line is we have to think about whether we are willing to give up the convenience of our own cars for the sake of not tearing our eyeballs out while we stare at the tailights of the Audi in front of us. At the end of the day, I don't think it will save too much time, unless you always leave Denver at 7:00 on Saturday morning and return at 4:00 Sunday afternoon. I'm not sure traffic is getting much worse as the hassle of sitting in it is keeping people away, as mentioned.
 

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there's a simple solution here. ditch the resorts along i-70 and go into the backcountry. the skiing is better, the experience is much more enjoyable since you don't have to sit in your car staring at the tail lights for 3 hours coming home, and you get a great workout.

beyond that, the resorts in grand, summit, and vail counties should be major cost contributors to any sort of traffic mitigation to the i-70 corridor, since their customers are responsible for the great majority of winter traffic and an increasing amount of summer traffic. republican or democrat, you must admit that if taxpayers footed the entire bill for those improvements, that would be the ultimate case of corporate welfare.
 

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Yeah, the resorts should be responsible for some of the price tag. And non-skiers should not be responsible for it. Toll road does sound like a good idea. Or a tax on lift tickets/season passes.
 
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