Comment By Susan Williams
For Regional Transportation Plan
Comment I write to express my opposition to the so-called Beltway. The fact that the voters have already spoken on this project and said no makes it all the more infuriating that certain monied interests have raised it from the dead and trotted it in front of DRCOG. First, it is unnecessary. There is no demand on the part of the metro-area citizenry to build it, and its only purpose is to provide a plum to real estate developers who, despite our dwindling water resources, wish to populate the foothills even more, for their never-ending lust for profit. Second, it is fiscally unsound. Again and again, studies have shown a toll road here will not pay its way. The very fact that the backers would need to impede existing traffic to force it into their toll road demonstrates its unsound premise. Why should they be made to pay for a new Beltway, when the roads they have already paid for are sufficient? If improvements are necessary (see recent opinion piece by Mayors Toor and others in Denver Post), let them be worked out by the cities. Given that the voters who put Mr. McCaskey in office soundly rejected this project makes me wonder who it is he really represents. Third, it will destroy the historic town of Golden. There's nothing more devastating to a town than driving a four-lane wedge right through its mid-section, and Golden as we know it will not survive any Beltway. Who are these outsiders who think they can come here and sacrifice a place so central to the history of our state, for no reason other than their desire to get rich? This proposal is nothing more than a pyramid scheme in disguise: build the highway at the expense of current residents, then overbuild the foothills with housing developments to pay the tolls that the investors need, but don't count the loss of tourism dollars from the ruin of Golden, and don't mention who's going to finance the infrastructure that would need to be built to accommodate all the new residents these investors anticipate to fill their coffers. Colorado is exhausted from overbuilding right now, so send these boys packing, please. There's no public purpose in their proposition, just a lot of personal greed.
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