Comment By Kathleen  Flynn
For Regional Transportation Plan, Air Quality Conformity Findings
Comment December 2, 2009 Comments for December 16th meeting DRCOG Air quality in the Arvada area, in general I am writing first about the proposed toll road from Golden to W. 64th. It is a very bad idea because: The proposal is to fund the highway with both private and public funds, but the tolls will be collected, administered, and managed by a private company, meaning tolls could be raised at any time for any reason, without public oversight. The toll road is not necessary except to serve Arvada’s ill-conceived idea for Candelas. Candelas and the toll road would add sprawl that we definitely do not want and do not need at this critical time of poor economics, poor air quality, and global warming. Some members of the Arvada City Council apparently have a financial interest in Candelas and the toll road, although I have unable to prove it, because the group sponsoring it has legal representation that will not reveal the individual’s names. It appears that for short-term financial gain for a few, the City Council will endanger and cause financial harm to the many that they are sworn to represent and support. Disturbing the land around Rocky Flats is dangerous, despite the government spokespeople who tell us it is “cleaned up”. The land will never be cleaned up (for a million years or so anyway) and raising dust from several feet under the topsoil where radioactive waste has accumulated is irresponsible, short-sighted, and dangerous to the health and welfare of the entire Denver metropolitan area. Building a four-lane superhighway in front of the beautiful mountain backdrop is a blight that can never be removed. Remember people come to Colorado to enjoy the scenery and the mountain activities we have. Deer and other animals use that area for feeding and moving from one grazing area to another and I expect more and more serious accidents and the death of many people and much wildlife from the encroachment of their habitat. The people living in areas that will be primarily impacted are opposed to the toll road, namely those in Golden and west Arvada. Air Quality Arvada has a very poor record of monitoring and seeking to improve air quality in the City and surrounding area. There are virtually no monitors for particulate matter and only one for ozone. The City allows people to burn wood day and night, which causes particulate matter to infect our lungs and they allow trucks, busses, and autos to sit and idle their engines for as long as they like. The Arvada police department has issued statements that those who allow vehicles to idle unattended for longer than 10 minutes can be ticketed, but only because the police are concerned about vehicle theft that they must investigate, not because they care about the emissions emitting from those vehicles. As far as I know none of the traffic lights in the Arvada area are synchronized so that traffic can move through without excessive idling. On 72nd from Sheridan to Kipling it is virtually impossible to travel from one traffic light to the next without stopping at 90% of them, yet 72nd was promoted as a “parkway” or throughway that would allow vehicles to traverse Arvada quickly. Adding yet another highway from Golden to W. 64th and a toll road where vehicles would have to stop and pay a toll, or at least slow down and pay a toll, will only add to already poor air quality here. Some people seem to want to avoid the uncomfortable issue, or inconvenient truth, as Senator Gore called it, that without clean air and clean water, we have nothing. With enough contamination, we will be unable to grow food, unable to live productive lives, and in fact, will perish, yet many seem to want to ignore those problems hoping they will solved by “technology”. The Earth has supported mankind for millions of years, but we have abused the Earth by overpopulation and wasting of resources and we can’t reverse that trend. Conclusion: I adamantly opposed to building the NW Parkway from Golden to W. 64th. I support improvements to highway 93. I support cleaning up the air in the Arvada area by first setting up monitors that will measure the air quality and taking steps to improve it. Kathleen Flynn
(if one submitted)