Highways Wrecked Cities 60 Years Ago — Has Denver Learned Anything Since?

Here’s a video by Vox that offers a breezy history of highways and how the government rammed them through cities — usually at the expense of disadvantaged neighborhoods that lacked political power.

Denver knows how that worked out. Residents of Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea have dealt with the pollution, noise, and blight of I-70 since the 1960s. Now Governor John Hickenlooper’s roads department wants to widen the highway by four lanes through north Denver, duplicating the mistakes of the past even though, as Hickenlooper surely knows, more lanes will generate more traffic and pollution.

What about that park Colorado DOT plans to build on top of the highway, you say? It would cover less than a quarter mile of the 12-mile widening. That is the fig leaf Hickenlooper hides behind when he says making the highway wider will “reconnect communities.”

There’s a better option — rerouting the highway and restoring the street grid. Other cities have reversed the mistakes of urban highways, and the gloom and doom predictions of endless traffic jams never materialize. Instead they get walkable streets and more space for people to live, work, and play.

Denver could do the same, if Hickenlooper and Mayor Michael Hancock stop the insanity of building a 1950s road project in 2016.


Friday’s Headlines

Driver Hit and Killed a Person Crossing the Street in CO Springs (Gazette) Colorado Senators and US House Members are to the Point of Writing Letters Urging RTD, Denver Transit Partners, and the Federal Rail Administration to Work Together to Avoid Further Loss of Service or Delays (CPR) …Also, Tomorrow is the Deadline. (DenPo) CDOT […]

Thursday’s Headlines

Denver City Council Proposes New Plan to Create Safer Walkways for People Around Construction Sites (Fox31) RTD Will Still be Doubling the Number of Train Cars on the A-Line, Amid Looming Deadline and Ongoing Problems (Denver7) More on the Plans for CDOT’s Old Home Base (DBJ) An Art Installation is Coming to Federal Boulevard to […]

Wednesday’s Headlines

Another Driver, Another Structure Crashed Into- This Time it was an Apartment and a Resident Was Injured (9News) How Denver Streets and Sidewalks Aren’t Set-Up for People to Walk, Bike and Scoot Safely, and What Should be Done About it (Denverite) A Review of the South Monaco Bike Lane, Conclusion: Not Enough Riders (Denver Urbanism) […]