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Ernest LuningErnest LuningAugust 21, 20178min639

Picture six Broncos games getting out at the same time on the same stretch of road. That's what traffic generated by Monday's total eclipse of the sun — a once-in-a-century event in these parts — could amount to, the Colorado Department of Transportation is warning state motorists. And for those stuck in traffic between Friday and Monday, AAA Colorado has some tips and a musical playlist guaranteed to brighten even the darkest day.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchAugust 16, 20174min392

Scott Franz of the Steamboat Pilot has a tale of raised voices, a hypothetical billionaire and which taxpayers should pony up the impact of traffic.

The Steamboat Springs County has a discussion featuring “some raised voices” on fees charged to developers to offset the impact traffic from new homes or rentals would have on the city system.

The fees are based on the cost to the public, through local and state taxes and grants, Franz said. But a couple of council members, Heather Sloop and Scott Ford, didn’t think the city should be collecting money from developers to offset what state taxpayers put in.

Sloop called it double-dipping.  Fort called it extreme to intercede on behalf of the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Reported Franz:

He asked whether it would be fair if the city charged a developer an impact fee for an intersection improvement, but then Bill Gates decided to open his checkbook and pay for the improvement himself.

“Would we still think collecting this money (from the developer) was fair?” Ford asked.

Yeah, but CDOT ain’t Bill Gates and Colorado taxpayers ain’t Microsoft, especially to the benefit ski-town developers. And Gates doesn’t have the state Supreme Court and Colorado legislature behind him.

The Pilot story doesn’t mention it, but impact fees are written into state law by the legislature in Senate Bill 15 in 2001. The law gave local governments the authority to set reasonable fees, and gave the developer the right to challenge the fees in court.

The City Council re-examined the $24,500 impact fee it billed the developer of the Captain Jack subdivision on the northwest side of town for an intersection improvement nearby, which the development needed. CDOT paid $3.6 million and the city chipped in $877,000 improvement project at the intersection at at Lincoln Avenue and Elk River Road, Franz said.

The developer asked for a refund of about a three-quarters of his assessment, because the city put in only about a quarter of what the state paid. The developer wants to pay only a share of the city’s cost.

The city denied the request in June.

Councilman Jason Lacy told the Pilot that that doesn’t tell the whole story of traffic cost to the city.

“If you looked at these projects as a whole, developers have probably had a break,” Lacy said in Franz’s story.

The request to cut future developers a break hit a brick wall and died.

Read the tale of traffic, money and local politics here.



Jared WrightJared WrightJune 16, 20176min436

A major step forward for transportation occurred earlier this year with the approval of the Central 70 project by the federal government. This project involves the reconstruction of a 10-mile stretch between I-25 and Chambers Road and the replacement of a 50-year-old viaduct on Interstate 70. With the approval, the Colorado Department of Transportation could begin work in early 2018.


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Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinMarch 8, 201710min354

Almost every new resident of Denver adds another automobile to the city's already crowded roads and highways, and those cars and trucks need a place to park when their owners are home or elsewhere. The advent of “micro” housing units, also known as tiny houses, in established Denver neighborhoods led to concerns over the city's pre-existing small lot parking exemption in the city zoning code, especially if two such lots were developed side by side, said City Council President Albus Brooks.



Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsDecember 23, 201613min323

DENVER — As we put a shiny red bow onto a YUUUUGE political year, it’s still unclear what — if anything — might be learned. No matter what side of the political struggle you sat on, it's understandable if you're just a smidgen anxious about what’s coming down the turnpike for Colorado and the country. Probably the one and only thing we all can agree on in 2016: change may most certainly be coming … ("No, it's not, the swamp just got filled with different gators, that's all," say all you curmudgeons out their).


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David O. WilliamsDavid O. WilliamsSeptember 27, 201613min405

While Colorado state Senate District 8 has seen some very nasty political attacks in recent years — sometimes even bitter, red-on-red Republican infighting in this mostly conservative rural region — nothing gets people more riled up in these parts than transportation funding shortfalls. Voters who have been stuck for six hours on Interstate 70 when a car with bald tires starts a chain-reaction pileup in a snowstorm will turn a bright shade of red telling you about it, even if they’re the bluest of blue Democrats. And after all, former Mayor Bill McNichols was ousted in the early 80s in part because he failed to clear a massive blizzard from the streets of Denver.