Sunday, August 26, 2007

Another FasTracks Issue

Just in case it wasn't annoying enough that the original FasTracks budget assumed that CDOT would simply give away for free land they had the foresight to buy decades ago, now Jefferson County has decided that if Fastracks can't deliver what was promised at the time of the vote in the form of a double-tracked West Corridor, they won't endorse the project.

For myself, this is a classic case of the claims of LRT's capacity needing a HUGE asterisk. It's bad enough that the capacity is far lower than freeway lanes. But it's based on the assumption that 2 tracks will be built. The main reason for building light rail instead of the far cheaper Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is that you can squeeze out more ridership (about 25% more capacity). Once you remove that 2nd line, that extra capacity, you have removed the main reason for using light rail on the West Corridor.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Fastracks : More Pollution?

As expected, the FasTracks line from Denver to Boulder to Longmont, the Northwest Rail Corridor, will be using diesel to power it's trains. In a way I'm amazed that it's taken this long to officially declare it to be the case. It's simply not safe to run light rail trains with freight and would be very expensive to set up the LRT well enough so that would not be an issue. The question is, with these trains powered by diesel will they be producing more pollution than if it's riders were in buses? Their own cars?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Denver City Council Dissing The Voters?

Thank you David Harsanyi for making sure the public is aware of this issue.

Should you ever wonder why approval ratings for politicians hover slightly above that of Chinese toy manufacturers, place your gaze upon the Denver City Council.

The council continues to prove it does not believe Denverites are capable of making intelligent decisions. (And judging from some of the characters on the council, we can concede that point on occasion.)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


The funny thing about Musgrave's quote below is that the NRC has never said they plan to upsurp the authority of these departments. Or is Musgrave just upset because the state health department has little authority when it comes to the proposed Uranium mine near Nunn, Colorado?

"I vehemently oppose any effort by the NRC to usurp the authority of state
health departments and the Environmental Protection Agency over water quality,"
she wrote, adding that: "mining operations must not be allowed, under any
circumstances, to flaunt either state or EPA water quality standards."

Monday, August 06, 2007

My question is why isn't the current all-time high tax revenues covering the current ongoing maintainence costs? Is question 1 to help cover new costs incurred by these "improvements"?,1299,DRMN_15_5660880,00.html

The mayor's proposal
Mayor John Hickenlooper will ask voters Nov. 6 to approve a 2.5 mill levy to pay for deferred maintenance and a $550 million package of bonds to rejuvenate the city's ailing infrastructure.
Voters will consider eight separate questions. If all are approved, the owner of a home valued at $255,000 would pay $61.66 more in property taxes annually. The Denver City Council will consider the mayor's proposal on first reading tonight.

• Question 1: Tax increase
Would increase property taxes and generate $27 million annually to pay for ongoing maintenance.

• Question 2: Refurbishing buildings
The city wants to spend $70.1 million to improve buildings, from replacing windows to remodeling rest-rooms.

• Question 3: Health and human services
Hickenlooper's proposal calls for $48.6 million for such projects as $3.5 million to expand the Westwood Child Development Center.

• Question 4: Parks and recreation centers
This measure calls for $93.4 million for such projects as completing the restoration of the Greek Amphitheatre in Civic Center.

• Question 5: Public safety
A new police crime lab and a new fire station in the Lowry neighborhood are among the $65.2 million worth of projects in this category.

• Question 6: Streets, transportation and public works
Voters would be asked to approve $149.8 million for street improvements and other public works projects.

• Question 7: Libraries
The mayor is proposing to spend $51.9 million to build three new libraries and to maintain and upgrade other library buildings.

• Question 8: Cultural facilities
The Boettcher Concert Hall and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science would get a combined $70 million for renovations and other construction projects.