Northwest Corridor Update

Yesterday, I and a number of other Golden City Councilors met with the county commissioners, Transporation Commissioner Joe Jehn, and several CDOT staffers to look for areas of agreement.

My view on the proposed superhighway through Golden is straightforward:  No six- or eight-lane superhighway.  I support transporation improvements in the Northwest Quadrant but only under seven conditions:

  1. No more than four lanes through Golden.
  2. No tolling through Golden.
  3. A speed limit of 45 mph by design (i.e., the roadway must rely on a “serpentine” parkway design, or something comparable, that keeps vehicle speeds low).
  4. Substantial noise mitigation, with a noise limit of 55 db through Golden.
  5. Grade-separated intersections (i.e., on and off ramps instead of traffic lights).
  6. Improved connections between neighborhoods on both sides of the highway (along 93 and Highway 6).
  7. A commitment, with funding, to make appropriate improvements on other north-south arterials in the region, like Indiana and McIntyre.

County Commissioner Kevin McCasky made clear that he (and presumably the entire County Commission) was willing to settle on four lanes so long as we reserve the rights of way for two additional lanes should the need ever arise, and he seemed open to all of the other concerns.  A small step, to be sure, but it is movement in the right direction.  As the funding picture becomes bleaker, and as new revelations about the sorry financial state of the existing Northwest Parkway come to light almost weekly, I think we’ll see an increasing interest on the part of the county and state to make something work.  I’m in no rush at all to make a deal . . . we’ll take a deal when it offers us everything we need.

I also want to be clear that I think a new, large superhighway through what is now largely open space in northern Jefferson County is a terrible idea, especially given that the traffic numbers don’t support it, but my first obligation is to ensuring that whatever happen in Golden be done in a way that improves traffic flow and improves the quality of life here through reduced noise, air pollution, and traffic congestion.

The Denver Post ran a story this morning (“Golden: Toll road won’t fly”) about yesterday’s meeting, and I found a YourHub post entitled Demand Accountability for Foibles of NW Parkway” that might be of interest as well.

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