Harry Dale: Mass transit a must | SummitDaily.com
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Harry Dale: Mass transit a must

Harry Dale
Evergreen

All candidates must understand the importance of pursuing a safe and reliable option to driving in the mountain corridor and that more of the same (just adding highway capacity, with or without tolls) will not solve the problem. Highway expansion will be very expensive, increase our dependence on foreign and domestic oil, have enormous construction impacts to the operation of the current I-70 freeway, have enormous environmental and community impacts throughout the mountain corridor and ultimately will not relieve congestion during peak periods.

There is a huge need for an alternate to driving for access to the mountain resort communities from the Front Range, whether it is high speed conventional rail, a monorail or a magnetic levitation technology. Front Range residents and visitors need a safe, reliable, comfortable, energy-efficient and convenient way to get to the mountain communities and resorts without taking their lives in their hands on a freeway, especially in bad weather.

Driver behavior in the mountain corridor is the worst and most aggressive in the state according to Colorado State Patrol. The accidents that this driver behavior creates results in road closures, heavy congestion and enormous delays that jeopardize the quality of our residents’ and visitors’ experience in the Colorado High Country. Contrary to popular belief, technology is not the limiting factor for a rail system in the mountain corridor. Desirable speed and rider comfort are the limiting factors, as a 90 mph train over 7 percent grades would force riders to be strapped in like a ride at Elitch Gardens and would be totally unacceptable. A lower grade alignment away from the current I-70 freeway is much more desirable for greater speeds, acceptable passenger comfort and no disturbance to the current freeway operation during construction.


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