||Regional Transportation Plan
||Public comment to the DRCOG meeting, Dec. 16th 2009 by Dick Sugg,member of the Technical Support Committee, NW Corridor EIS Study.
The JPPHA and their backers have presented misinformation to the public, to CDOT and to DRCOG.
- Early during the NW Corridor EIS Study the Parkway proponents said that completing the beltway, a 20-mile freeway, not a 10-mile toll highway, is needed to support development in North Jeffco. The Purpose and Need statement of the EIS has never included supporting development as a need; only transportation improvements.
- The claim is that the JP toll highway will provide an alternative route to SH-93 between Golden and Boulder. This claim is the greatest falsehood put out by the JP proponents. Recognizing that supporting development is not a legitimate purpose for a transportation project, the JPPHA and friends make this false claim because they must demonstrate how the JP will improve transportation in North Jeffco and the Denver region. Drivers going between Golden and Boulder (the majority of traffic on SH-93) are not going to leave 93 at 64th Ave. north of Golden to pay a toll to go miles out of their way through Interlocken to get to Boulder on busy US-36. It is true that two-lane SH-93 needs safety improvements, but building the JP will not do it.
- The claim is that completing the Parkway would improve transportation in the 7-plus county Denver Metro Region. The NW Corridor EIS Study showed that building a 20-mile freeway beltway completion would reduce Average Daily Travel time in the Denver Metro Region (one of the project objectives) by only a fraction of 1 percent. Building a 10-mile toll highway would reduce ADT time less, if at all; hardly a justification of spending over a billion $ of scarce highway money.
- The claim is that a public/private funding of the 10 mile Parkway will finance the construction, operation, and maintenance of the JP. The NW Corridor EIS Study showed that tolls would not cover those costs for a 20-mile highway, even less the less-travelled 10-mile JP. The EIS Study team would not consider any transportation improvements as alternative solutions in the NW Corridor unless they were on the 2030 MetroVision Transportation Plan and funding was proven within six years. The JP should not be put on the Fiscally Constrained list unless the JPPHA can prove that funding (approximately $800 million) will be available within six years.
- The claim is that the beltway must be completed to meet the population growth projected for the Denver Metro Region. The EIS Study team used DRCOG population growth projections. Only 5 percent of the projected growth in the Denver Metro Region will be in North Jeffco (the NW Corridor). 95 percent will be to the East, North and South, where the need for transportation improvements will be much greater than in North Jeffco. The greater need is in the vast majority of DRCOG communities other than in the NW Corridor.
- The JPPHA used taxpayer money in 2007 to produce a financial report of how much money would come to North Jeffco if the Beltway were completed. As the study did not compare the growth of the economy with the superhighway to growth with the MetroVision 2030 Transportation Plan without the beltway completion, it is invalid. The badly flawed study used a few point values for critical variables instead of a range of values based on probabilities. The greatest mistake of the study was to base the amount of traffic on the new roadway as on a 20-mile freeway, not a 10-mile tolled highway.
- Members of the JPPHA and the Jefferson County Commissioners are on record as saying that a contract for building the JP will not include "congestion guarantees" (non-compete agreements) as on the NW Parkway and E-470. The current proposal is to reduce the speed on Indiana Ave. where it parallels the proposed JP by constructing traffic calming barriers that will force drivers to use the Parkway. Unless the congestions guarantees are removed, those elected officials are liars. The MetroVision Transportation Plan calls for widening Indiana along that stretch. The 2000 NW Quadrant Feasibility Study recommended widening that arterial an others as an alternative to completing the beltway connection, which would not have done as much to improve mobility in North Jeffco.
- Early in the JP project development two of the Jeffco Commissioners cited the rush hour congestion and delay on two-lane SH-93 through Golden as a serious problem. They promised that money raised to pay for the JP would also be used to make much-needed improvements (widening to four lanes, replacing and removing some traffic light intersections) on SH-93. The commissioner who heads the JPPHA dropped that promise, and the other commissioner who said that she would not support the JP without including the needed improvements on SH-93 has reneged and fully supports the project.
- By g
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