Rant & Rave: I-70 and Snow

February 3 2012, 10:20 AM

Rant: I-70 drivers.

Did you go to the mountains last weekend? Are you still stuck on I-70?

Part of living in the Centennial State is acquiescing to the fact that you'll spend a chunk of your life idling in the parking lot that is I-70. From zipper lanes to high-speed trains, each proposed solution seems like a band-aid to a larger problem: There's just too much traffic. The current experiment, Colorado Department of Transportation's pace cars, stalled out this past weekend because, says CDOT, "traffic volumes have exceeded our ability to effectively pace traffic." I get it: I can't figure out I-70 traffic either. 

The thing that bugs me most, though, is how fellow drivers act. Sure, there are friendly folks that ease into a lane, stick with it, and never touch their horn. Then, there are the other drivers, who insist on switching lanes every 30 seconds, honk, and see how high they can raise their blood pressure. The worst culprits are the cars that take an off-ramp to race ahead and merge back into traffic on the on-ramp. Sure, they get ahead a few cars, but their antics ensure that traffic behind them slows to a crawl. People: Let's be civil, because next time you try this maneuver, I’m not letting you back in. 

Rave: It's snowing!

Yesterday was Groundhog's Day and good old Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow to forecast six more weeks of winter. As if on cue, it started snowing in the metro area just hours later—and it hasn't stopped. (Boulder already had a foot of snow by this morning.) And while I'm not excited about shoveling, I'm happy to see the precipitation spike, because we need it.

I spoke last week at a symposium at Stanford University about water issues in the west. (Read "Dry Times" to learn more.) During the visit, people couldn't stop talking about how dry and mild this winter has been. Driving around a dried-out California, I had to agree. But, I warned them, you should really be following the ski reports in Colorado, because much of the Golden State's water comes from those hills. 

But, this winter, the high country has been desperate for powder. Some recent storms have helped, but this spring's snowmelt may just be a trickle. While this storm won't solve the West's water problems—most of the snow is dumping on the Front Range, not the mountains—Colorado can never scoff at moisture. So pull out a shovel, and like it. Bonus: To see historic photos of epic storms click here