Today’s Headlines

  • Driver Seriously Injures 12-Year-Old Girl in Aurora, Flees (DenPo)
  • Driver Seriously Injures Person Walking at Shoshone and Virginia (ABC7)
  • 9News Cheers for Flood Drainage Project Without Mentioning I-70 Ditch That Makes It Necessary
  • Hancock to Consider Housing Advocates’ Ask for More Affordable Housing Funds (Denverite)
  • Failing Churches Could Become Homes, But Some Want to Slam Doors on Newcomers (Denverite)
  • Judge OKs NIMBY’s Bid to Ask Voters to Build Wall Around Denver, Front Range (DBJ)
  • Some People Want Amazon Here, Some Don’t (Bisnow)
  • Olympics Would Require Land Concessions in Mountain Towns (Summit Daily)
  • CDOT Pulling Out All the Stops for Nolan Olson, Employee Killed By Driver (9News)
  • Hackers’ Virus Still Wreaking “Mayhem” on CDOT (DenPo)

National headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • TakeFive

    “9News Cheers for Flood Drainage Project Without Mentioning I-70 Ditch That Makes It Necessary”
    Promoting fiction and conspiracies does not become you. Per the linked article:

    Stormwater in Denver will naturally run downhill and towards the South Platte River.
    The problem is that growth and development through the years halted that natural process, leaving some of our historic north and northeast neighborhoods prone to frequent flooding.

    Denver Public Works refers to that problem area as the Montclair basin. It is the largest basin in Denver at 9.5 square miles, that does not have a path for stormwater to get to the South Platte River.

    Your supposed compassion for residents in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods seems to be transitory and more about an agenda than authentic.

    This project will protect those historic neighborhoods around the Denver Coliseum, like Elyria, Swansea, Cole, Whittier, Clayton, Skyland, and Five Points.

    • Little Big City

      Hello. It seems you’ve been away too long to know what’s going on locally.

      CDOT is shoehorning a new interstate three times the footprint of the current viaduct into poor Latino communities. Through a superfund site and floodplain (through which this project also runs), they plan to sink the highway below grade to build a park for an elementary school.

      Was this done out of the goodness of their hearts? Not in the least. It was in order to get federal funding which requires Title VI compliance. In other words, if there’s environmental racism/discrimination, throw a bone. The park is simply “mitigation” for the overwhelmingly negative impacts the community will face as the result of this project.

      However, the communities are concerned because the new project will further divide their neighborhood, as crossings will become fewer and farther between.

      And yes, they are inextricably connected. CDOT is paying the city for the project because, while Denver did need to protect the area, the I-70 ditch idea required increased protection. Not to mention, while this talks about protecting historic neighborhoods, it also represents a chance to protect future development interests in the mayor’s “corridor of opportunity” (which much like in Cleveland, is a code for ramming highways through poor communities of color). And it keeps increases capacity to help spur development by the airport in all of the adjacent counties, including Aurora’s proposed Highlands greenfield development.

      It is not about protecting historic and historically marginalized communities. It’s about promoting new suburban communities to the east.

      Just because you find connections to be inconvenient doesn’t mean it’s a conspiracy.

      • TakeFive

        poor Latino communities

        I’ve become highly skeptical of your sympathy for these residents; tell me how you intend to prevent total gentrification? With any luck Central 70 may – no guarantees – provide some measure of protection.

        Was this done out of the goodness of their hearts?

        I’m familiar with the process and also know that CDOT is going well beyond what is required.

        However, the communities are concerned because the new project will further divide their neighborhood

        There we go, feigning great sympathy since it fits into your agenda. News Flash: When Central 70 is finished it will be essentially identical to what Phoenix did over 25 years ago. Feel free to check google images for Margaret T. Hance Park. On the downtown side of the deck park they’re building higher end condos and townhomes. On the mid-town side the neighborhoods are much the same as they’ve always been. Thomas Rd carries the equivalent bus traffic to Federal Blvd. The exception is a couple of blocks either side of Central Ave where the light rail line now exists there has been a fair amount of development.

        And yes, they are inextricably connected.

        Because the parties found a way to save taxpayers money in a mutually beneficial manner means its a conspiracy? Nope, the conspiracy is yours, my friend and props to the judge for not giggling when he determined as much.

        the mayor’s “corridor of opportunity”

        I know, Mayors are easy targets. The only thing that goes specifically to Hancock is the new National Western Center and if you’re unfamiliar with the backstory, I’d be happy to fill you in. It has nothing to do with your extended conspiracy.

        It’s about promoting new suburban communities to the east.

        Nope, once again it’s just your wild imagination tailored to fit your agenda. I-70 is a critical freight and commercial corridor that benefits not only Denver but the metro, the region, the Western Slope and the whole state. You may not know what ‘logistics’ means but the ski areas, for example, depend on I-70 which has nothing to do with your visions of sprawl.

        • Little Big City

          You’re right, the best way to prevent gentrification is to ram a larger highway through the area, I don’t disagree. Diminish the quality of life more and and it will stay poorer longer. I don’t disagree. This isnt a conversation about gentrification. But I don’t think displacing over 50 homes and businesses is the best solution to fight gentrification, nor is dividing neighborhoods.

          Furthermore, examples of highway removal in Portland, OR; San Francisco, Milwaukee, Rochester, NY; etc all show that highway removal increases real estate prices and development in adjacent areas, but it also creates successful communities that lead to strong tax revenue. The lost revenue from the over 50 homes and businesses that will be demolished will be made up how? Please feel free to familiarize yourself with any number of these projects.

          As for Title VI, they are going beyond the bare minimum, if only because of the scale of the damage to the community, and also as convenient PR.

          As for the highway cap, I’m not feigning anything. Look at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, another successful highway cap. Not only are both of these projects closer to downtown, but benefit from integration with the adjacent communities. The I-70 cap replaces an elementary school playground and, the last time I checked, was planned to be closed to the public during school hours. Again, it’s more of a PR stunt than a genuine attempt to create a community asset. I’m all for highway caps, but a simple analysis of successful past projects will show you one is not like the others. And if it does in fact increase development in the surrounding lots despite its many concerning factors, your previous “anti-gentrification” argument regarding the entire project picks up a few holes.

          The problem isn’t saving taxpayer dollars through coordinating projects, though I’d say it largely just shifted the cost to a greater number of taxpayers (now everyone in the state is helping to foot the bill). The problem is it raises serious environmental concerns.

          As for the mayor, this plan was mulled over long before Hancock became mayor, but it does not diminish the negative impact of these projects and the unwillingness of the current administration to represent the effected communities.

          Central 70 has little to do with ski traffic, unless most people drive to DIA before heading to the mountains. You may want to look up ‘logistics’ as last I checked, the mountain corridor plans are years away, even though congestion there is far worse. As for freight traffic, the community proposed an alternative route along 270 and I-76. The in-depth analysis of a reroute did not include this common sense alternative that, at the very least should be thoroughly investigated. And the corridor would not disappear. Surface streets would still be able to handle the vast majority of traffic with only through traffic being rerouted.

          You’re right, development near the airport has long been projected, but the poor suburban-style planning is out of touch with an urban environment and induces traffic. Would some development be built without a widened central 70? Certainly. But it would likely be of a much different nature.

          You’re in Phoenix now, I get it. I live here and I’m trying my damnedest to make sure that Denver does better. But my tax dollars are also funding this project, which the Congress for New Urbanism designated a “freeway without a future” multiple years running and which CoPIRG estimates will waste $58 million taxpayer dollars.

          So I get it, you don’t care about the impacted communities, you don’t care about Colorado taxpayers, and you don’t care about finding 21st century solutions that help create a strong and vibrant Denver. I do.

          • TakeFive

            Fact: By the time Central 70 is completed the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea Neighborhoods will be nicer than they have ever been.
            Fact: It has been foreseeable for some time that everything south of I-70 will be either redeveloped or repurposed. I loved those gritty neighborhoods but they’ll never be the same.
            Fact: Below grade freeways are sooo much nicer; just ask Scottsdale AZ; and that viaduct is disgusting.
            Fact: There’s a yuge difference between loop or by-pass freeways that have been added over the years and the original east-west and north-south interstate highway system to promote commercial transport.
            Fact: The Dem governor of Oregon and the head of Portland transit helped push the successful passage of higher taxes in order to… expand FREEWAYS.
            Thanks for making my point: I mention ski areas and you immediately think of skiers and (commuter) traffic while I think (primarily) of the industry and the constant flow of goods and services along the I-70 corridor. I’m sure for many ‘logistics’ is a foreign concept.

          • TakeFive

            With respect to your alternative route along 270 and I-76 all you need to do is convince the metro voters to come up with an additional $1.7 billion (on top of the existing $1.3 billion) to fulfill your wishes. Then you would need to convince the City of Denver voters to come up with the needed $1 billion to acquire the existing state/CDOT land and ROW, tear down the viaduct etc and then build your Boulevard of Dreams.

            Between the Congress for New Urbanism and US PIRG/COPIRG on one end and the Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation on the other end, I’m not sure which is worse? Neither seems to have a grasp on reality.

            Btw, while I appreciate your passion, trying to speak to what I care or don’t care about is a bit juvenile. Eh, no biggie and not the 1st time; I’m unbothered but it doesn’t really advance your own arguments.

          • Little Big City

            You’re out of touch.

            1. The entire freeway is not below grade.

            2. The original plans for I-70 were farther north and didn’t travel west of Denver.

            3. Bad highways aren’t a partisan issue. Hickenlooper is a Democrat too. I Ali to see the point?

            4. Logistics: if people can’t get to the ski resorts, or if widening the mountain corridor erases the mountain destinations people are trying to get to, there’s no need for goods.

            5. CDOT is already trying to get more money to widen 270. So really, the two projects could be combined to save taxper money. Also, CDOT regularly unloads unused ROW as it is a liability. You’re exaggerating a little. But, as I’ve mentioned, there are numerous case studies to show how to successfully remove a highway.

            6. You’re right, all these organizations have flaws, but the declarations by these and others show that I-70 isn’t all butterflies and roses as CDOT would have you believe. As for “freeways without futures”, again please see any of the numerous case studies about the success of removal projects.

            7. Add hominem attacks (however thinly veiled) and condescending, patronizing, and superior tones do little to advance your own argument.

            Thank you for the discussion. Neither of us will change the other’s mind.

          • TakeFive

            7. Add hominem attacks (however thinly veiled) and condescending, patronizing, and superior tones do little to advance your own argument.

            Fair enough. 🙂