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The flagging form of Colorado’s roadways

February 13, 2019, 11:01 am
Alex Plesovskich via Unsplash

Last year, Colorado ranked 31st in the United States for deadliest roads, raising much debate over what has caused this. While some toss around statistics of marijuana sales and increases in teen driving, many are looking to the condition of the roadways across the state to see any cause that may hide there. While some parts of Colorado want billions spent on the Olympics, much of Vail would rather see a few potholes filled, as well as a handful more issues that need to be fixed.

Fixing I-70

The last year has been filled with enough construction that it feels like there’ll never be an end to it. As a project that started in the summer of 2018, I-70 has been experiencing enough lane closures to make any motorist want to ditch their car and walk. Those driving trucks and hardy vehicles are generally shielded from the bumpy construction roads, but it’s an absolute headache for drivers of smaller four-doors and sedan models. One could hopefully expect to see this fixed before any money goes into an Olympics build.

Improved safety

Conditions aside, some roads are just built outright dangerous. To cite I-70 again, there’s more than a few sudden curves and immediate turns that can threaten intermediately skilled or inattentive drivers. While there are some plans in motion to fix some of these, such as the westbound roadway near Floyd Hill, there’s more than that one section that needs to be improved.

There have been a few local pitches to lower speed limits as well. Past that, some have suggested adding more traffic lights, speed bumps, and road signs to warn of and mitigate the dangers of the roads. While these are all great suggestions that would certainly provide a bit of relief, they’re far from the “big picture” levels of change that the Colorado roadways need to see. 

Ultimately, a Colorado-hosted Winter Olympics would be great for the short-term economy of the state, as well as the nation as a whole. But the massive increase in traffic and construction would also serve to further deteriorate the already-flagging roads. With road safety and conditions so low that the reconstruction of the roadways a key running point in upcoming elections, residents of Vail should hope to see some massive improvements soon.

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