From the Editor

Traffic Report

A letter from the editor of our March 2017 issue.

March 2017

Geoff Van Dyke

Two weeks before we sent this issue to the printer, my family and I finally got to go skiing for the first time this season. We love to ski, and even though we don’t go very often, my wife and I have made a point to start our boys young. But increasingly, ski days cause me no small amount of dread: It’s a bit of a logistical nightmare to coordinate the gear—skis, boots, long underwear, gloves, goggles, sunscreen, Clif bars, passes—for four people, including a seven-year-old and a 10-year-old. And I am not a morning person. So as I stared at the red lights in front of me at 6:30 on that Saturday morning, all I could think about was Michael Behar’s feature. Every Denverite knows that I-70’s mountain corridor is pretty much a disaster at peak travel times. But what most people don’t know is how we got to this point and where we’re going from here. Behar elucidates the complicated policy (and political) issues that have earned I-70 the ire of just about every Front Ranger looking to recreate in the mountains, along with candid—and occasionally concerning—commentary from Colorado Department of Transportation executive director Shailen Bhatt. The good news is Bhatt and his team are exploring techniques, including the creation of the nation’s first smart highway, to try to ease the jams that so frequently plague I-70 in the mountains. The bad news is that no matter how innovative these technological upgrades are, they’re almost certainly not going to be enough—which means those ski days, such an integral part of our lives and identities as Coloradans, will likely only become more anxiety-inducing in the years to come.