Tower Ledger .tl.cm2
I-70 is critical to our state’s econom as amain conduit for business and tourism trans-portation. It’s time for us to take immediateaction to relieve congestion on this vitalarter. If we don’t fix I-70 in the next severalears, our clogged economic arter will causeColorado businesses to suffer a stroke.Waiting 10 ears for added lanes and trainsstems will be too late. Colorado is a pioneerstate, where people moving west used a spiritof self-sufficienc to develop their own solu-tions when faced with vexing problems. Wemust now use this spirit to pilot an immedi-ate solution to unclog I-70.Testing an anti-traffic model along I-70through a pilot program will ield significantresults for the tourism, trade, interstate com-merce, trucking, and distribution industries,among others. In this program, similar tohighl successful models in other states andhighwas around the world, drivers wouldreceive a pament for using the highwa when it is not at peak demand and, in thesecond phase of the program, pa a small feeto use the highwa when it is at peak demand.This is not the onl solution to fixing the I-70debacle, but it will provide immediate pro-tection for our econom while we planlong-term solutions like bus lanes, mass tran-sit and highwa expansion.Our econom is fueled b the free mar-ket, suppl and demand. This pilot program would put those principles in place to helpalleviate the pinch on the economic vein run-ning through the heart of our state.At one point in time, parking spots indowntown Denver were free because there was an abundance of parking space with littledemand for it. Toda, drivers expect to pa afee to park their cars where demand is high,such as downtown during the da, and to paeven more when that parking spot is at peakdemand, such as at a Rockies baseball game.Could ou imagine all parking being freeduring a Rockies game?During ver specific times, highwa spacealong I-70 is as scarce of a resource as adowntown parking space. Given this prob-lem, it is time for us to ask people to slightlchange their driving habits, much in the same wa the do for parking, in order to allocatescarce highwa resources. When people puta value on highwa space, the will changetheir habits in was that will benefit ourstate’s econom and reduce carbon emis-sions. A five percent change in driving habitscan reduce congestion b 50 percent. The feenecessar to change behavior could be mini-mal enough to actuall save drivers the extragas mone the currentl pa to sit in hoursof traffic during high-demand times.An anti-traffic pilot program for incen-tive-based driving could offer a solution to what has become a critical problem. Thepilot would consist of three phases, carriedout over three ears. Phase 1: appl a sstemof incentives and fees to commercial truckersso that the would not drive during high-de-mand times, combined with incentives onlfor other drivers to not commute duringthose times. Phase 2: implement a sstem of incentives and fees based on congestion forall drivers. Phase 3: carr out a comprehen-sive evaluation of the program. We wouldrequire the program to be successful to berenewed after 3 ears.Extra mone collected through the pro-gram could pa for other transportation andincentive options, such as free buses, that would boost tourism and stimulate localbusiness. More people traveling would bringmore mone to Colorado’s mountain towns.The pilot can be implemented without toll-booths, using programs similar to those inplace in man cities and highwas across theU.S., in which a camera takes a photo of acar’s license plate. The car does not have toslow down or even pa at the time of use.Voters have a unique role in shaping taxand fiscal polic here in Colorado, which is wh I wanted to start this dialogue. Oureconom depends on I-70, and it’s clear that with our fiscal challenges we cannot remedour troubled roads, highwas and infrastruc-tures with the same old thinking. It just won’t work. We must implement a solution that will improve access to Colorado’s naturalbeaut, grow our state’s econom, and lessenthe environmental impact of congested high- was. We need to do it now. The ke is to useour Colorado spirit to pioneer new was of solving this vexing problem.
Devon Barcla, Angela SassevilleMark Mehringer, Helen Hand, Jeff LeClair,Sophia Throop, Danielle Corriveau
Lisa Digan, Sophia Throop
firstname.lastname@example.org 303.458.7541media kit on-line at www.towerledger.com/mediakit
Emporia Publishing, LLC.POB 12487Denver, CO 80211
advErTising & EdiToriaLinquiriEs:
Tower Ledger is published monthl b EmporiaPublishing, and printed b Longmont-Times Call.Copright © 2007 b Emporia Publishing. All rightsreserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibit-ed. Postmaster: Send address changes to EmporiaPublishing,POB 12487 Denver, CO 80212. This publi-cation welcomes editorial submissions but assumes noresponsibilit for the safekeeping or return of unsolicit-
sTaPLETon, Lowry, Park hiLL.hiLLToP, haLE, Mayfair,CrEsTMoor, MonTCLair, andnorTh aurora
Issue 3 • Volume 2 • February 2008
From the Editor’s Desk- Guest Opinion - Senator Chris Romer
Use Colorado Pioneer Spirit to Fix I-70 Gridlock
By DAVID KENDALL
So close, but so far awa. Atfirst blush, that seems to be thestor of California’s efforts tosecure health care coverage forall. The Democraticall-dominated State Assembl hadpassed a groundbreaking reformplan, and Republican GovernorArnold Schwarzenegger wasread to sign it into law. Then theState Senate (also a majorit-Democratic bod) balked at the$14 billion price tag in the face of a $14 billion deficit. The reformeffort died in a committee.This Golden State setbackmeans that even though there hasbeen some serious progresstoward reform at the state level(notabl in Massachusetts), thestates can’t go it alone.The federal government needsto be an active partner in reform,because it controls the pursestrings for health-care financing.It needs to build upon the effortsunderwa in the dozens of statesthat have been inspired b theMassachusetts example. Suchinspiration is laudable, but fed-eral action is indispensable if weas a nation are ever going to bringabout genuine reforms to ouroutdated and inequitable health-care sstem.Some essential elements forreform have emerged from thestate debates; each element willrequire federal involvement.Here the are:An individual mandate. Healthcoverage is a personal responsi-bilit that man people ignore.One-third of all uninsuredAmericans have incomes morethan $50,000. Two-thirds of thenation’s uninsured children areeligible for a public health-careprogram, but are not enrolled.The federal government shouldrequire that everone get cover-age - or pa a penalt, such as theloss of a tax deduction. The pen-alt should be equal to the averagehealth-care costs that the publicnow bears for each individualpatient who needs care but can’tpa for it. The states should makeit eas for an individual to enrollin either a public or private insur-ance plan, as Massachusetts hasdone through a network of stateagencies, emploers and insur-ance brokers.Financial Assistance. There’s asizeable gap between the cost of coverage and what workers canafford to pa. Famil premiumscost more than $12,000 a ear,
Lessons from the California health care reform effort
The federalgovernment needs tobe an active partner inreform, because itcontrols the pursestrings for health-carefinancing. It needs tobuild upon the effortsunderway in thedozens of states thathave been inspired bythe Massachusettsexample.
They’re Your World
CFS, CLTC, MS
• College Planning • Investments •• Life & Disability Income Insurance •• Retirement Income Planning •• Small Business Planning • 401k •
4100 E. M
, CO 80246303.584.1176
Copyright © 2007 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, MA01111. All rights reserved. www.massmutual.com. MassMutual Financial Group is amarketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) andits affiliated companies and sales representatives. Richard M. Frampton is a registeredrepresentative of and offers securities, investment advisory and financial planningservices through MML Investors Services, Inc. 4100 E. Mississippi Avenue. Suite 900Denver, CO 80246. (303) 691-0070. Member SIPC. Insurance offered throughMassachusetts Mutual Insurance Company and other fine companies.