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A Responsible I-70 Alternative
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How to Comment Effectively

Below are some topics that you might want to consider writing about.   Write about whatever is important to you. Expand on these – whatever is important to you.

If you have time, look at a section of the SEIS which you know something about and then explain your concerns you see. As an example:

  • If youre a teacher, write about how air & noise pollution negatively-impacts a childs ability to learn in school.  
  • If you know something about pumping water, write about the need to pump all of the water out of the trench [their proposed schematic has some big flaws].
  • If you are a regular park user or someone who knows something about parks or road maintenance, write about your concerns of the big & expensive projects that get built, but then are never maintained.

 

In your comment, please specifically ask that “CDOT do an SEIS on the full re-route that includes both I-270 and I-76”.  But, make sure that that is not all you write.  It needs more than that in your message. 

 

Some ideas of comments:

 

  • The incredible amount of $ this project will consume. Many believe it to be grossly-fiscally irresponsible spending from a taxpayer perspective, especially when the re-route appears it will cost about half as much while addressing I-70 congestion issues on BOTH sides of I-25, not just the east side.

 

  • Why was the full re-route that is on both I-270 & I-76 not studied as a part of thisSEIS?

 

 

  • Do we really need the freeway practically three times the width compared to what we have now? Do we need four new toll lanes?  Go to http://www.reimaginei-70.com/nmdcts/ and watch a A Traffic Engineers View for more insight.

 

 

  • Environmental justice for the Globeville, Elyria & Swansea community. The impact is far too great.  
    • Pollution in these neighborhoods is already incredibly high. Life expectancy is much shorter for these residents than other nearby Denver communities… Go to http://www.reimaginei-70.com/nmdcts/and watch the video Unhealthy Conditions.
    • Further-devastating communities that were sliced apart in the 60s by I-70. Taking a now much-larger swath of houses and business.  Go to http://www.reimaginei-70.com/nmdcts/ and watch the Added Real Estate video for more about unfairly-depressed property values.
    • This community already suffers from economic depression from the first intrusion of the I-70 and will likely only continue to do if it is widened. Go to http://www.reimaginei-70.com/nmdcts/ and watch Neighborhood Conditions for more about the third world condition of neighborhoods adjacent to the highway.
    • Putting Swansea Elementarys playground on top of the freeway. Is that a good idea?  
    • CDOT already owns the right-of-way needed to widen I-76 and I-270, without taking any homes or businesses and, along the I-76 and I-270 routes there are 0 neighborhoods that are immediately-adjacent to the freeways, compared to 11 along I-70 between Stapletons Central Park Blvd and Harlan [the re-route area] that are directly impacted. 
    • How would this go over today if the 6th Ave Freeway was proposed to be widened through Denvers North Country Club neighborhood?  Do you think that there would be people speaking-up? TheseElyria, Swansea and Globeville neighborhoods dont have the voices they need to stand-up on this issue.
    • The expanded freeway and its new service roads will be well-within 100 feet of the wall of Swansea Elementary. Imagine the vibration, the pollution, the noise, the danger in getting to school [which serves kids from both sides of the freeway]. Their planned mitigation efforts cant possibly be enough. These kids deserve better.
    • Losing a considerable amount of the retail space in these neighborhoods which are alreadyfood deserts [lacking a place to buy healthy groceries feeding a family on food from a convenience store is neither healthy nor reasonably-priced.
    • Lack of community awareness & inconsistencies between what the Globeville, Elyria & Swansea communities are saying about this project and what CDOT says they are saying about it.
    • 11 schools are within the EPA impact zone of I-70 from Harlan to Central Park Blvd. Why would we want to increase pollution even further there?

 

  • Commuting
    • The recent mess on I-25s T-REX project may bring-up some reminders of commuting nightmares.  Certainly this projectis far more complex. The logistics of keeping the freeway open while transforming it from an elevated freeway to at-grade and then into a deep trench is going to be a nightmare vs a dream situation allowing CDOT to widen I-270 & I-76 first, before needing to dismantle the elevated sections of I-70. The human [construction and commuter] safety implications are huge. The amount of time that will be consumed by construction delays has to be in the millions of hours.  For every hour of lost time, there is an awful lot of pollution emitted into Denver neighborhoods by idling and vehicles creeping-along.
    • Does anyone remember Don Martin’sSky Spy radio and tv traffic reporting from his Cessna airplane in the 70s & 80s?  The I-70 delays begin at the [Stapleton] airport tunnels or I-70 Crash at/in the [Stapleton] airport tunnel was heard nearly on a daily basis. Does a freeway in a trench and one with a 2.5 block-long lid on it make any sense?
    • Q: Coming down from the mountains on I-70, where is the point where the back-ups begin?  A: The Idaho Springs Tunnels. Not sure why, but people brake unnecessarily going into tunnels everywhere. That causes slowing and that causes accidents.
    • How is it that CDOT expects to make a gigantic expansion to I-70 east of I-25 and no expansion west of I-25 without creating a horrible bottleneck at I-25 which defeats the desired benefits?   CDOT suggests that 50% of the traffic on I-70 westbound gets off onto I-25 [a number that should be disputed]. In their calculations, CDOT fails to account for any I-25 traffic that gets onto I-70.   I-70 west of I-25 is often backed-up– and creating ‘induced demand’ will only make that worse.   So, is the expansion of I-70 west of I-25 next? How many homes will that one take?

 

  • Safety
    • People will die in crashes on a freeway that gets no direct sunlight in the wintertime. A freeway deep in a trench and bordered by sound walls gets no direct sunlight in many lanes in the wintertime: Go to http://unitenorthmetrodenver.com/will-cdots-expansion-work-severe-weather/ to see how CDOT’s proposed highway will function in the wintertime.
    • People might die building an-incredibly complicated freeway in a trench. We dont yet know if the trench vs. a full re-route is the right way to proceed.
    • Crashes will occur due to changes in light and irrational braking that occurs at the lid, a two and a half block long cover they intend to move the schools playground onto the top of the freeway
    • Business Connectivity The elimination of two exits between Brighton and Colorado, which is a critical on/off point for much of the I-70 adjacent businesses as well as much of Commerce City, will cause the trucks to use the service roads that will be within 100 feet of the school and the walking path for many pedestrians. 
    • Heavy rains could cause Denver to have its own moat.  Sounds like fun with the right boats, but when the emergency evacuation route is flooded and people are trapped in vehicles, this wont be good. 
    • A gravity-fed drainage canal from the lowest part of the trench to the Platte River, likely 45+ feet deep that is to be open on the top?
    • Those homes on the south side of the freeway where the trench will be lower than the water table are almost certainly going to find their basements wet. Underground water flows that will be blocked due to the recessed freeway essentially becoming a dam will be the cause. In addition, that water may be quite-contaminated.  
  • What lies beneath in this case, should stay beneath
    • Most of the area where the freeway is to be in a trench is horribly contaminated with arsenic, cadmium, lead and zinc by the Asarco Superfund Clean-up Site.  Re-routing the freeway onto I-76 and I-270 and conversion of the four lane boulevard currently directly below the elevated sections of the existing I-70 to become a six-lane boulevard would disrupt an incredibly smaller amount of contamination as compared to the current CDOT plan
    • Potentially 50,000 70,000 semi truckloads of dirt must be removed to dig a trench that is 8,200 feet long and in some places 40 feet deep, nearly 300 feet wide [although the outermost two lanes on each side, for a total of four, would be at grade].
    • Where is all of this [likely contaminated] dirt going to go?
    • What are the fuel costs and quantity of vehicle emissions associated with moving all of this dirt?
    • Which communities will be breathing this airborne dirt?

 

  • Public works costs, which we all pay for, will skyrocket for:
    • Vacuuming snow out of the trench.
    • De-icing the trench, which wont get much/any direct sunlight in the winter.
    • Maintaining the trench, especially those parts that are below the water table is going to be pricey.
    • Sewer lines that cross the freeway may be hanging from bridges and subject to freezing.
    • There is a complex existing storm sewer drainage problem near I-70 on the south side.  Sinking the freeway into a trench will greatly compound this

 

  • The misrepresentations made by CDOT in their response to UNMD’s & League of Women Voters requests for budget comparisons for CDOTs current preferred alternative and the never-studied re-route option onto I-270 & I-76.  Go to http://www.reimaginei-70.com/nmdcts/ and watch Unbelievable Project Costs for more information.
  • The need to thoughtfully approach Adams County regarding a re-route. Denver has repeatedly dumped crap in Adams Countys lap.  Its not fair what has happened, as recently as this past year, with the airport.  Adams County has a tremendous economic development opportunity with a re-route onto I-270 & I-76. As of now, most of those areas are un-developed, under-developed or blighted. 
  • Property values & roots within a community
    • Real estate property values.  Globeville, Elyria & Swansea home values have barely-increased in the past 15-20 years.  Every other neighborhood thats within four miles of the urban core is worth two, three or four times as much as it was in the same period.  Isnt it fair that those communities realize the same benefits as everyone else?  Watch Added Real Estate Value at http://www.reimaginei-70.com/nmdcts/ for more information.
    • Those who have homes in the construction area dont have a choice about whether they want to sell.   Imagine someone whose entire support network exists in the few blocks nearby and they are forced to leave.

Thank you in advance for your contribution.   It means A LOT to our neighborhoods, our City and our State’s taxpayers.