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View Full Version : Post your comments on making I-70 a toll road


Romer
03-16-2008, 07:45 PM
http://groups.google.com/group/fixI70now

This is a dumb idea.
And no he is not related to me.

Nay
03-16-2008, 09:17 PM
Gas at $8 a gallon will fix I-70. All of our highways are a toll road, you just have a free e-Trip card issued by ExxonMobile and the Bush Administration :D

MDH33
03-17-2008, 08:43 AM
doesn't bother me. I gave up trying to go skiing on weekends anyway. The lift lines are almost as annoying as sitting in traffic on 70. :mad:

Uncle Ben
03-17-2008, 08:50 AM
doesn't bother me. I gave up trying to go skiing on weekends anyway. The lift lines are almost as annoying as sitting in traffic on 70. :mad:

X2K! IH8I70S&S!

Maddmatt
03-17-2008, 11:07 AM
I don't know what the big deal is. I left at 5:15 on Sunday, had a nice leisurely drive up to Winter Park, had an hour to sit around and eat a nice breakfast and was done skiing by noon. No traffic either way. :D

Seriously though, I ski wihtout the family because that's too early to get the family together and motivated - the kids probably won't ski until we win the lottery and can afford a condo, that we can drive to on Friday night. And that hurts to say, skiing was a huge part of my child hood, and should be a huge part of my adult life, and my kid's lives, but I70 traffic has taken that away from us. But I don't blame the highway, I blame everybody who moved here after me. (that's a joke, don't get all upset. I moved here in 1969, courtesy of the maternity ward at St. Joes, if you want to know where I set the bar.)

I would love to see a train, but it has to have a reasonable amount of stops.

I mean 1 stop at Union station, 1 stop in west Denver (Golden??) and then a stop in Summit County and a stop in Vail. Anymore stops than that and its going to be so slow and frustrating nobody will ride it. I would picture 4 trains per day in the winter, 6:00am, 6:30, 7:00 and 7:30 from Union Station. Returns start in Vail at 3:30, 4:00, 4:30 and 5:00.

The Summit Stage bus schedules could be adjusted to meet the trains, giving you access to all the Summit areas for no additional cost.

I would love to take out of state visitors to the train station in the summer, to ride up and have lunch in Breckenridge, do some site-seeing/shopping and return that evening.

Trains are going to be expensive, but you know the old saying "cry once...."

Best part of that plan? It doesn't affect me, I get to drive my car to Winter Park and have Mary Jane back to myself. :thumb:
In all honesty, a well working train system would encourage me to ski other areas, which I do avoid because of the additional traffic. However the cost would become extremely prohibitive to a family of 4. I couldn't take another C-Note on top of what it already costs to ski.

The only way it works is if the resorts subsidize the whole thing, so that tickets cost about $10-$15 round trip. That's not going to happen, because the resorts do not want you there. They do not make any money off of front range skiers, and with the exception of Winter Park, Loveland and Eldora the fact that I70 traffic is bad is a benefit to the ski resorts.

Maybe I'm just unhappy about the whole thing, but I don't see a solution ever. The highway works exactly the way the tourism industry wants it to, and that's where the money is.
-Matt

SteveH
03-18-2008, 08:43 AM
It already is a toll road - a toll in time and frustration. I avoid it for that reason. I have only taken my kids to Monarch, and have seen zero traffic issues going through Woodland Park. Great snow, cheap skiing. It pains me that as they get older and better, I won't feel much like taking them to Loveland, Copper, or wherever, due to the traffic. In 1993? I spent 5 hours getting from Vail to C470 in my FJ40, surviving only because of dual gas tanks. I counted 60+ cars out of gas! I swore I would never again do a weekend I-70 ski trip, and pretty much haven't.

My sincerest concern is that in the typical government fashion, the toll fee will be diverted to social programs or the general fund (just like part of Colo's current gas tax) or they will offset other road spending with the toll dollars. Typical state ripoff. No - I don't trust them with another nickel of my money for any reason. Viva Doug Bruce ;-).

Steve

lfd270ben
03-18-2008, 09:54 AM
worst Idea ever just toll people with out of state tags they are the drivers that slow traffic down anyway.

isotel
03-18-2008, 02:15 PM
X2 for Monarch, i love that place.. Now that they have the Back country stuff open, i think i may have to buy a season pass next year! i love their new slogan "lose the lift lines, not your friends".

Rock Dog
03-18-2008, 11:23 PM
There solution sucks !!!:mad: What they are talking about is possibly putting another bore through the tunnel, and how long will that take to be built ? 5-10 years.
Toll roads seem to stay toll roads even after they are paid for because "it is good revenue"... with other toll roads there is at least another choice of road that can be taken. not the case with I-70

calphi27
03-19-2008, 07:34 AM
If they do make a toll road, they will probably lease it for 99 years to a foreign investor like a lot of the other toll roads across the US. I wrote a business plan in college for a biodiesel bus service to the mountains, maybe I should forward it to the Senator.

Corbet
03-19-2008, 10:12 AM
I don't think there is a good solution, but a train is probably best. Problem is getting people to ride it. Does anyone you know ride the current ski train?

http://www.skitrain.com/winter.html

At $49 per person I'm guessing not. Plus the hassle of loading up the kids into the car, unload at the train station, walk from the station to the lifts... :blah::blah::blah:

Actually in-forcing the chain laws and expanding it to include any 2WD passenger vehicles would be helpful in the now. Nothing worse than some stupid gaper in his/her 2WD car trying to drive the pass in bad weather. And f#%@ the rental car companies for even giving out such a useless vehicle in the first place.

IMHO the destination tourist will be the easiest to convert to the train. Simply because after getting off the plane your already packed for "connecting" type transportation But it needs to pick you up at DIA. Get off plane, pick up bags, board train. Stop at Union Station, Golden, Loveland, Frisco, Copper, Vail, Avon, Edwards, or Eagle Airport. From your stop, get on bus or spur rail.

OK, back to reality. Like last Friday where it took me 5 hours to get from Frisco to Vail for work. Only to be rewarded with another 5 Hour trip to get home. :rant::rant::rant::rant::rant::rant::rant::rant::rant::rant:

nakman
07-16-2012, 09:28 AM
Yesterday was a new record for me. Hit Dillon at 3:30, made it home at 7:00... was stop and go pretty much the whole way from Dillon to the bottom of Floyd Hill, with only a few brief moments of 30mph. And there weren't any notable accidents or anything either that I could tell, just volume.

Jacket
07-16-2012, 09:39 AM
Sadly it wasn't any better at 6:00pm. I think we stopped in Frisco around 5:30 or 6:00, and I didn't get home until 9:30. Miserable...

wesintl
07-16-2012, 09:44 AM
I'm pretty sure cdot identified that it's the s curves at the twin tunnels that slows traffic. until that is fixed it will be horrible.

ScaldedDog
07-16-2012, 09:58 AM
but a train is probably best. Problem is getting people to ride it.

Does anyone else find that funny?

Widen the road! Yes, it's expensive, yes, it'll take forever. Both of those are true of a train, as well, but people will actually use the road.

In the meantime, enforcing drive right, pass left will add 10-15% of capacity to the road we have.

Mark

nakman
07-16-2012, 10:17 AM
This "train thread" is the closest I could find to the general I-70 discussion. I agree it'd be tough to get anyone to ride it, other than traditional ski traffic, even that isn't convenient or cheap, as posted above.

But this is July- it's recreational/tourist traffic. It's normal truck freight. Heck 15 red Haliburton rigs in a row transporting who knows what... it's well beyond the ski industry now, and kind of sad how is used to just be ski traffic.

I just wish there was another way up to the north to get to the Front Range, but none of the existing (but closed) routes like Jones Pass or Rollins Pass seem that practical. Actually Jones would put you right back on I-70 anyway.. :rolleyes: but there are really only 2 routes- 70 and 285, and both feel mighty busy on Sunday afternoons.

ScaldedDog
07-16-2012, 10:18 AM
Yesterday was a new record for me. Hit Dillon at 3:30, made it home at 7:00... was stop and go pretty much the whole way from Dillon to the bottom of Floyd Hill, with only a few brief moments of 30mph. And there weren't any notable accidents or anything either that I could tell, just volume.

Yep, me too, in 30 years of being here. Left Breck around 4:30, got home a little after 8:00. Saved some time by taking the frontage road from Georgetown through Idaho Springs.

I think we're going to start coming home on Monday mornings. It makes the weekends longer, anyway. :D

Mark

DaveInDenver
07-16-2012, 01:07 PM
I'm pretty sure cdot identified that it's the s curves at the twin tunnels that slows traffic. until that is fixed it will be horrible.
Basically yes, CDOT believes the main problem spot is the curve right after the twin tunnels. It's not the tunnels themselves, although people tend to tap their brakes going into them, but the 50MPH curve. It's flat, so it really is a tip risk.

J Kimmel
07-16-2012, 01:41 PM
In the meantime, enforcing drive right, pass left will add 10-15% of capacity to the road we have.

Mark

This right here, period. I pass 90% of the people in the right lane. Miles and miles of inattentive drivers meandering along in the left lane creating traffic. They're worried about passing that semi that's another mile ahead. Then they get up to it and start pacing it at 45. I had a guy the other day honking and flipping me off as I passed him in the right lane and merged in front of him continuing on my way. When he was 1/2 mile behind me I could still see him in the left lane with a line of 20 cars behind him.

FJBRADY
07-16-2012, 01:45 PM
I had a guy the other day honking and flipping me off as I passed him

That was me.:o

Yeah 70 bites.

AxleIke
07-16-2012, 01:58 PM
Does anyone else find that funny?

Widen the road! Yes, it's expensive, yes, it'll take forever. Both of those are true of a train, as well, but people will actually use the road.

In the meantime, enforcing drive right, pass left will add 10-15% of capacity to the road we have.

Mark

Actually, I have a buddy who is a civil engineer on roads. Widening the road actually doesn't do much. A great example of this is southbound I-25 around thornton. 4 lanes wide, and you still slow to 10-20 mph in high volume, and 40 ish in light volume, and only when there is almost no one on the road (1 am or so) can you actually drive the limit.

The issue is that when there is high volume, people are not comfortable driving in close proximity, be it 2 lanes or 4. The problem is the people driving, not the road itself.

subzali
07-16-2012, 04:26 PM
I like Mark's idea :D

No, not the driving on the frontage road idea. I actually think that contributes to the problem. My two cents.

timmbuck2
07-16-2012, 05:02 PM
I have to disagree...once it goes to 3 lanes up Floyd hill, traffic thins dramatically, and the next 10-12 miles is very curvy and hilly but still moves at the speed limit compared to stop and go the previous 3 hours. :)

My issue with a train or monorail or hot air balloon or whatever they think of next, is the number of people who are not up there skiing, but are camping or hiking or 4 wheeling or doing whatever, and they will never ride a train with all their camping gear, etc etc...the road just needs more capacity.


Actually, I have a buddy who is a civil engineer on roads. Widening the road actually doesn't do much. A great example of this is southbound I-25 around thornton. 4 lanes wide, and you still slow to 10-20 mph in high volume, and 40 ish in light volume, and only when there is almost no one on the road (1 am or so) can you actually drive the limit.

The issue is that when there is high volume, people are not comfortable driving in close proximity, be it 2 lanes or 4. The problem is the people driving, not the road itself.

Corbet
07-16-2012, 06:04 PM
I'm so happy we left Summit County. I-70 = :banghead::banghead::banghead:

JadeRunner
07-16-2012, 06:06 PM
I ran Red Elephant Hill yesterday (spur of the moment) and came down via Bill Moore and Empire. Its pretty sad. I went over I70. Saw it was all backed up. Turned around to catch the service road. Got nowhere real quick on the service road because it was backed up even worse. So I turned around again and got back on I70 where I just was.

Everyone is on to the service road now so that's not a quicker option anymore.

wesintl
07-16-2012, 06:07 PM
well, you could move to detroit and not have this issue. Or sit on 95 (12 lanes)at anytime day or night between D.C. and N.Y.

I guess i70 aint that bad.

nakman
07-16-2012, 09:44 PM
I still think the train is the best solution. Rig up some double decker rail cars that hold 6 vehicles, 3 top and bottom. Put up a big chain link fence on them so I can't fall off or throw junk off the train. then set up ramps in Winter Park, , Glenwood, and Grand Junction. I would totally pay $100-$200 round trip to just kick it in the truck with all my gear inside and look out the window at the view, then unload and drive away 1 or 2 passes later.. even if it were a guaranteed 3 hours, compared to maybe 2 or maybe 5.

AxleIke
07-17-2012, 06:33 AM
I have to disagree...once it goes to 3 lanes up Floyd hill, traffic thins dramatically, and the next 10-12 miles is very curvy and hilly but still moves at the speed limit compared to stop and go the previous 3 hours. :)

My issue with a train or monorail or hot air balloon or whatever they think of next, is the number of people who are not up there skiing, but are camping or hiking or 4 wheeling or doing whatever, and they will never ride a train with all their camping gear, etc etc...the road just needs more capacity.

That is because the road is widening out from a narrowed road. If the whole road was 3, or 4 lanes each way, traffic would still be bad. You'll still have people cruising in the left lane, the right lane, and both the middle lanes, and traffic will crawl.

As I said, I-25 is a perfect example. Drive it around denver at high volume times, and it crawls, all 4 lanes.

AxleIke
07-17-2012, 06:34 AM
well, you could move to detroit and not have this issue. Or sit on 95 (12 lanes)at anytime day or night between D.C. and N.Y.

I guess i70 aint that bad.

LOL. Yeah, driving in NY city was a WHOLE new experience for me. And no, we don't have it bad.

DaveInDenver
07-17-2012, 08:38 AM
It's a no-win trying to snake a super highway through the mountains.

Extra lanes do add capacity, but they have to be continuous. I-25 narrows and widens in some unfortunate spots and that confuses traffic. Traffic is modeled as laminar and the engineering is done just like any other discipline trying to eliminate flow disruptions. They have to align the highway to avoid sharp curves, poor visibility, bad surfaces, large speed differentials, too many on/off-ramps, etc. Kirsten tells me that the statement should be extra lanes alone do not necessarily help.

In this case they think they would, though. She pointed me to the feasibility study CDOT did on adding a 15 mile long zipper lane to I-70 from Floyd Hill to the Empire/US40 exit. This they think it would get the most benefit immediately. The twin tunnels are a problem and a few other spots will be difficult to squeeze in a lane, but apparently doable. This is not the long term plan but something they would implement maybe in our lifetimes...

http://www.coloradodot.info/projects/I70reversiblelane

nakman
07-17-2012, 08:49 AM
It's a no-win trying to snake a super highway through the mountains.

Extra lanes do add capacity, but they have to be continuous. I-25 narrows and widens in some unfortunate spots and that confuses traffic. Traffic is modeled as laminar and the engineering is done just like any other discipline trying to eliminate flow disruptions. They have to align the highway to avoid sharp curves, poor visibility, bad surfaces, large speed differentials, too many on/off-ramps, etc. Kirsten tells me that the statement should be extra lanes alone do not necessarily help.

In this case they think they would, though. She pointed me to the feasibility study CDOT did on adding a 15 mile long zipper lane to I-70 from Floyd Hill to the Empire/US40 exit. This they think it would get the most benefit immediately. The twin tunnels are a problem and a few other spots will be difficult to squeeze in a lane, but apparently doable. This is not the long term plan but something they would implement maybe in our lifetimes...

http://www.coloradodot.info/projects/I70reversiblelane

I like the zipper lane idea, makes sense. Of course if I owned stock in Beau Joe's or Tommyknocker's I'd likely oppose it, but hey.. I don't and I don't want to stop in Idaho Springs.

edit: And furthermore, I'd be willing to PAY A TOLL to drive on that. Holy cow, thread back on topic. :bolt:

rover67
07-17-2012, 10:45 AM
That's cool. So they just drive a truck down the Hwy to shift the barrier over and it's done?

Seems like there would be no other real requirements for the change other than the crossover sections.

Air Randy
07-17-2012, 12:57 PM
Do like they do in California: add an additional lane in each direction (or 1 more lane that reverses direction). Then, make it/them a toll lane using an electronic tolling system like E470. Charge $5, No trucks allowed, minimum speed limit of whatever during good weather.

In CA CHP rigidly patrols these lanes for people going too slow, and they write tickets with serious fines. There is an unwritten guideline that you won't get a ticket for driving too fast unless it's just insane speeds, and if you do crash due to excessive speed you get ticketed.

I know all of the other lanes are sitting at 10 mph, bumper to bumper, and the express lane is usually moving no slower than 50 mph. Nothing is perfect but this seems to help.

subzali
07-17-2012, 01:09 PM
Do like they do in California: add an additional lane in each direction (or 1 more lane that reverses direction). Then, make it/them a toll lane using an electronic tolling system like E470. Charge $5, No trucks allowed, minimum speed limit of whatever during good weather.

In CA CHP rigidly patrols these lanes for people going too slow, and they write tickets with serious fines. There is an unwritten guideline that you won't get a ticket for driving too fast unless it's just insane speeds, and if you do crash due to excessive speed you get ticketed.

I know all of the other lanes are sitting at 10 mph, bumper to bumper, and the express lane is usually moving no slower than 50 mph. Nothing is perfect but this seems to help.

Kinda like the center OHV lane on I-25?

SteveH
07-17-2012, 03:41 PM
I wonder: is the goal of an I-70 toll road to a) reduce traffic by making travel more expensive, or b) give the state gov't some tax revenue? Tolls will/should not make traffic move faster, unless lane strategies are revised.

Corbet
07-19-2012, 07:02 PM
How do sink holes factor into the long term traffic plan? :doh:

http://www.9news.com/news/article/278670/71/Sinkhole-opens-up-on-I-70-near-Idaho-Springs

calphi27
07-20-2012, 08:15 AM
Semis should be restricted to the right lane. Many times a slow semi tries to pass a slower semi and they just pull right out causing people to hit the brakes. They should have restrictions on semis even being on i70 during peak times.

60wag
07-22-2012, 08:18 AM
I'm sitting in a cafe in Croatia at the moment but have been driving on highways in northern Italy for the last week or so. I wish American drivers could be more like European drivers. There isn't any of the BS hanging out in the left lane. You drive right, pass left. If you're in the left lane for more than 30 seconds, there will be an Audi or a BMW riding your ass until you move over. IMHO I think there a bit bit too agressive but it works. On a 4 lane express way, the right lane is full of trucks moving much slower than the cars. The trucks almost never move into the left lane to pass. The cars tuck in behind the trucks and then pass when needed - into a left lane that generally ins't clogged. No one has a phone pressed to their head. It's actually illegal to use a handheld phone wile driving. I70 could move a lot more traffic if we could change the behavior of the drivers. I don't know if it's possible but it may be a lot cheaper to launch a massive ad campaign rather than trying to widen the road.

OTOH on two lane moutain roads..... these people are nuts. If you are aren't exceeding the limit by at least 10 km/hr you will have someone riding your ass and then passing on a blind curve. It's truly a wierd mix of efficient expressway use and crazed impatient driving on roads that are much too narrow - always entertaining and somtimes jaw dropping.

Oh, and the motorcycles...... when a line of 5 sport bikes blows past you on a curvy road high in the Dolomites, wow, just wow. Next time I'll be back without the family and on two wheels.

Jenny Cruiser
07-22-2012, 07:43 PM
I wish American drivers could be more like European drivers.


Oh, and the motorcycles...... when a line of 5 sport bikes blows past you on a curvy road high in the Dolomites, wow, just wow. Next time I'll be back without the family and on two wheels.

That will never happen. You're comparing apples and rocks. Nothing beats driving in Europe. Doesn't matter where you are. I love how on rural two lane roads in Poland you put your signal on and both oncoming traffic and the lane you're passing move over so you can go right down the middle in your car. Lane splitting in Paris and just about any city in Italy - awesome. And riding a bike in the Alps was a dream come true.