Thanks to a 303cycling reader, Jason Callegari, for writing up this story. If you have a story you want to share, drop us a line or two. Thanks Jason!!
On Wednesday December 16th, The Denver Regional Council of Governors (DRCOG) will meet to hear testimony regarding the planned Toll Road between Arvada and Broomfield. The proposed Toll Road will have its largest impact on the Arvada, Golden, Boulder, Superior and Broomfield communities. This is not a new debate, however it is a new opportunity for voices from the bike community to be heard.
Much of the debate over the Toll Road centers around proposed economic development. In these tough economic times, it is important that communities seek new solutions to bolster their economic security, however the Toll Road is neither the only nor the best option.
Why do bicycles continue to be left behind? If tax payer money needs to be used -and the current proposal calls for up to 1 billion in tax payer money- then we need a multi modal design that takes into account pedstrian, bicycle, RTD and cars - serving everyone's needs. The proposed toll road does not do this (they would only set aside some right-of-way for someone else to build in the future) . Its proponents acknowledge that it would cause increased congestion on S.H. 93 and Indiana St. If you bike or drive Highway 93 you know that it has little to no shoulder, tight curves, no split median, plenty of wildlife crossings and frequent snow closures. Funding the proposed Toll Road would not leave any funds left to address these important issues.
Luckily, officials from Golden and Boulder have outlined a plan which argues for a much smarter use of taxpayer money. The proposal titled, Introducing the Corridor Plan - Safe Sustainable Connections (www.fix93.org), recognizes 93 for what it is: a vital road for access to institutions of higher learning, research, and new energy, along with vital open space and beautiful views. The plan calls for a bicycle and pedestrian route between Golden and Boulder, widened shoulders, a divided median, improved RTD usage, wildlife crossings, improved interchanges with U.S. 6, improved snow fences and more. This seems like a much better use of our hard earned money, and is forecasted to cost far less.
I look forward to having safe bicycle access to all of the great mountain biking and some of my favorite road bike rides that the S.H. 93 corridor offers. However, this will only happen if we as bicyclists continue to make our voices heard arguing for smarter, multi modal growth that serves everyones' needs. Represent the bicycling community Wednesday at the DRCOG meeting, 6:30 p.m., Colorado History Museum, Boettcher Auditorium, 1300 Broadway, Denver. Register to testify by contacting Casey Collins at DRCOG CCollins@drcog.org or leave your comment online before December 16th.