Friday’s Headlines

  • “Patricio Martinez killed a 20-year-old motorcyclist in 1994 on his fifth DUI. Since being released, he’s been busted driving drunk three more times.” (9 News)
  • Aurora police filed nine charges against the RTD driver accused of causing the R Line derailment last month that injured several passengers. (CBS4)
  • P3 problems: RTD’s A-Line contractor seeks a trial in its $80 million lawsuit against the agency for problems with the public-private partnership. (CPR)
  • Epic carsickness: Instead of building a $100 million parking lot, A-Basin said no to the Epic Pass. (Business Denver)
  • attacked him for fast pace of development. (Denver Post)
  • Map: Where is affordable housing in Denver? (Denverite)
  • Strike planned: Grand Valley Transit (Grand Junction) union members want higher wages, including a $15 starting wage, from the private contractor they work for. (Daily Sentinel)
  • Hancock says Denver has had an “absolutely phenomenal run” after mayoral candidates
  • National headlines at Streetsblog USA.

Correction: The headline on ski resort parking was corrected to reflect that A-Basin quit the Epic Pass, not Loveland. However, Loveland’s parking problems are discussed in that story. 

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  • TakeFive

    Epic carsickness: Instead of building a $100 million parking lot, Loveland said no to the Epic Pass.

    Actually that’s in respect to A-Basin which is different from Loveland. Loveland, however, never joined the Epic Pass madness which A-Basin tried. A-Basin is more for front rage ski enthusiasts while Loveland is more family oriented.

    • Streetsblog Denver

      Mixing up my ski resorts. Thanks for the correction.

      • TakeFive

        Not a problem; I’m grateful I don’t have the responsibility but happy to correct. 🙂

  • iBikeCommute

    Funny how the choice for abasin seems to be between building a $100 million dollar parking garage or less skiers. No mention of running buses from Dillon and Georgetown or (gasp) Denver.

    • TakeFive

      Summit County has some of the best transit in the State and their Summit Stage shuttle is free. Looks like their A-Basin run goes once an hour although many routes run on the half hour. .

      Prior to ski season Bustang added an early route that leaves DUS at 7:00 a.m; Federal Center Station at 7:25 a.m. and arriving in Frisco at 8:45 a.m. Last spring Bustang tried a Denver to ski area service but the higher fares necessary didn’t get enough interest.

      • iBikeCommute

        Breckenridge and Keystone are very well served by the free bus system, but the “Swan Mountain Flyer” only runs once an hour from Breckenridge to Abasin and doesn’t stop anywhere in town where most people are staying. I assume ABasin would have to pony up for better service, but they talk like expensive parking lots are the only option.

        If CDOT figured out how to run frequent buses from the park-n-rides in Morrison directly to the ski mountains for $10 a seat, they would be hugely popular and would probably require far less subsidy than building another lane on I70.

        • TakeFive

          I don’t know how they ran their ski buses last year but I seem to recall ticket costs of ~$34. When I rode their regular service last summer it was $11 and with my senior discount at $9.

      • Camera_Shy

        I did find one flaw with the bus system up there: In Silverthorne there are two routes that serve condos (where people stay). These two routes are served by a single bus that first does one residential loop (30 mins), then returns to Silverthorne station and does the other residential loop (30 mins). This is an issue because the buses that come from the other towns, (Frisco, Dillon, etc) all arrive at Silverthorne station every 30 mins. So, the “regional” buses are bringing people in every 30 mins, but the bus to your condo only runs every 60 mins. It sucks that the concept of getting people to their condo is lost on this system, especially since Silverthorne station has zero parking and isn’t intended (vehicle-wise) to be the final drop-off point. Fortunately there is a brewery right there so one can relax while waiting 30 mins for the residential loop bus to come back around. Ha!

    • Camera_Shy

      At the end of January I visited summit county, though not as a skier. Rode the bus in the afternoon (3? 4p?) from Keystone to Dillon. It was full. I boarded at Summit Cove, between Keystone and Dillon, it was standing room only. The folks I rode next to on the bus were from England and Australia. They seemed right at home on transit.

      Swan Mountain Flyer departs the main bus station in Breck, at the base of the gondola. But then that’s where all of the Summit buses arrive/depart. If I were serious about going to ski A-Basin but I was staying in Breck, Frisco, Dillon, or Silverthorne, I think I wouldn’t mind hoofing it to the main stations. I know lots of people wouldn’t bother, but it is possible. And, I believe there is an in-town shuttle in Breck…? that would get folks to the main bus station, because there are many people trying to get to the Gondola to ski Breck, which is the same place as the Sumit Stage stops.

      Service to/from Morrison would be great, IMO.

    • Loveland used to run a couple of employee buses daily from Georgetown back in the winter of 1990-91 that non-employees could sneak aboard if there was space. There were two runs uphill in the morning and two runs downhill after 4:00 PM. Back in the day they used to pickup by the Georgetown Market up by where the Crazy Horse Saloon used to be.

  • To round out the picture of close-in to Denver skiing, during my 29 years as an RTD service planner I responded to Clear Creek County’s requests three times to prepare a study of extending our highway coach Regional routes to serve that part of the Denver Region (Gilpin and Clear Creek Counties are mountain counties, but are members of DRCOG). Each time we included ski service for Loveland from Market Street Station / Union Station and the Cold Spring p-n-R / Federal Center Station. We would have proposed pricing ski runs the same as DIA skyRide, or now the A-Line. In season, we would have run a connection to the Georgetown Loop rail excursions.

    Regular commute service would have been provided at the established Regional rates. Research showed enough commuting to Denver and the Federal Center to warrant some commuter runs. We identified some CDOT locations that might have suited for modest park-n-Rides. Because of the off-peak and weekend service, access-a-Ride also would have been required by the time of the third study.

    Each time it got easier to do the study (I had to redo the spreadsheets because the software was obsolete each next time). Predictable next phases were: RTD senior management figuring out that this would be expensive in relation to the modest sales tax revenue to be gained, followed by the local government leaders digesting the fact that RTD was not about to extend service without including at least the populated parts of the county in the district, followed by the usual suspects coming up from the flatlands to warn the mountain people that RTD lusted after their tax revenue “to build light rail for Denver.”

    M.E. Sarotte titled her book on Cold War Berlin negotiations “Dealing With the Devil” as she discovered that both sides used that same figure of speech. It well describes the situation in which all parties were certain that they were being taken to the cleaners. I enjoyed the privilege of being paid to visit the mountains and of working out plans that would have meshed RTD service standards with some of the needs of Clear Creek County residents and businesses. The plans also would have met some of the needs of metro residents for non-auto recreation and used some of the rows of highway coaches that sit idle on the weekends and holidays.

    Subsequently, Idaho Springs gained Bustang service and regained Greyhound service, but the schedules serve completely different purposes. In their travel market commute and recreational service is also needed. In similar areas it has taken a crisis to resolve the predictable deadlock. We have the technology (see photo of bear-proof trash can at Pine Junction park-n-Ride). We just don’t have an emergency.

  • “Patricio Martinez killed a 20-year-old motorcyclist in 1994 on his
    fifth DUI. Since being released, he’s been busted driving drunk three
    more times.”

    Then he has six more DUIs to catch-up to a guy from Cleveland who got 14 DUIs before he killed someone there about 30 years ago.

    Now we have had the technology available to prevent more than 90% of vehicular DUIs for more than 30 years now but it would add $500 to the cost of every new car, bus, truck, and motorcycle to install an ignition / breath-test interlock system, and such a system would do nothing for the number of people who ride bicycles, electric scooters, or ATVs drunk or stoned .

    “Aurora police filed nine charges against the RTD driver accused of causing the R Line derailment last month that injured several passengers”.

    That seems like wild overreaction when a simple charge of careless operation causing an injury accident would suffice. All the operator did was go around a curve too-fast, something that happens everyday on the highway.