Tired of West I-70 Traffic Constipation? Take This

UPDATED: Are you a skier who gets jammed-up every winter Sunday afternoon on eastbound I-70? Are weather related road blockages getting you down on your way west? Frustrated with cramped driving conditions, too?

The I-70 Mountain Corridor Coalition has relief for you!An I-70 mountain traveler’s guide loaded with tips on how to survive the commute west and eastbound can be found on the Coalition’s new website. Not only can you sign up for I-70 transportation updates, the I-70 Coalition will notify you of public comment opportunities. Plus, you can hit the links to CDOT for the latest traffic updates.

“The Coalition web site provides direct links to CDOT webcams along the recognized ‘trouble spots’ on the corridor, Silverthorne Hill, the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels and the Highway 40/I-70 junction at Empire,” explained executive director Flo Raitano. “In addition, the web site contains tips for avoiding congested times and ways to help alleviate peak congestion.”

With Governor Ritter and CDOT Executive Director Russ George providing leadership, Raitano said the Coalition is optimistic that a meaningful planning effort to incorporate an advanced fixed guideway solution for corridor is not far off.

“We have gone from state leadership dismissing a transit alternative as a “Disneyland solution” — tourism is the state’s 2nd largest economic driver — to state leadership saying transit must be considered as part of the rational solution to congestion on the corridor,” Raitano added. 

The Coalition is currently working with CDOT on guiding the development of a “Context Sensitive Solutions” process and guidebook for the I-70 corridor. Raitano noted that Glenwood Canyon set the threshold for integrating transportation into the environment and historic values of the area in an aesthetic, unobtrusive manner. 

“The Coalition’s goal is to ensure that solutions on the rest of the I-70 mountain corridor meet and exceed that baseline,” Raitano said.

The I-70 Coalition was formed in 2004 through an intergovernmental agreement among 31 town and county jurisdictions to address transportation issues on the West I-70 corridor through the mountains. The organization has also studied alternatives to alleviate commuting problems to and from the Front Range.

So, here are a few suggestions to make your next trip west go more smoothly, just in time for the Labor Day Weekend:

1. Spend the night. Get onto some e-mail lists of resorts and lodging companies to take advantage of special deals. Or get a bunch of friends together to go in on a condo rental for the season. Camping can be a cheap and fun way to extend your stay and avoid traffic headaches.

2. Carpool. Fewer vehicles on the road means less of a traffic jam for everyone. Try carpooling just three times a week to get a taste of the benefits to your psyche and your wallet. Try www.skicarpool.com.

3. Take public transportation. A bus or van service can also take the pressure off weary drivers. Try www.greyhound.com or www.ridecme.com.

4. Avoid peak traffic. Don’t head west on Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings. Avoid eastbound travel on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

5. Get creative with your workweek and vacation time. Use vacation time to tack an extra day onto your weekends. Or better yet, try taking a couple midweek days off instead. Take your Memorial Day or Labor Day holidays a week early or late.

6. Look before you drive. Check on traffic and weather conditions before you leave. If I-70 is bumper-to-bumper, wait an hour or two on the couch or in your favorite restaurant.

Other I-70 transportation coverage on Colorado Confidential can be found here.

How are you going to survive the trek up the mountains this Labor Day weekend? Add your own I-70 commuter tips below!

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Leslie Robinson

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