Since the 1950s, there have been plans for a nearly 102-mile freeway loop in the area outside Denver. Roughly three-quarters of the beltway has been built, but not the section that would run through Golden—a small community, west of Denver, that served briefly in the mid-19th century as the territorial capital.
Now, says The New York Times, it looks as if Golden will remain free of the freeway for the indefinite future.
"Federal and state money for new highways faded with the recession. Political will at the state Capitol to push a beltway, or punish Golden for intransigence, has evaporated too under a governor, John W. Hickenlooper, who preaches regional cooperation," The Times reports. “'CDOT has other priorities,' said Stacey Stegman, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation, referring to the idea of completing the beltway.'"
Patrick Phillips, CEO of the Urban Land Institute, argues that since most of the beltway is already operating, it doesn't make sense to leave it incomplete.
The Times suggests that the biggest threat to Golden is that the town will end up inundated with traffic anyway when the rest of the beltway is completed to Golden's borders. But the newspaper doesn't provide any sense of whether there might be other ways of handling through-traffic. Is a boulevard an option? Readers of The Times are left in the dark about non-expressway possibilities.
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• See the July-August 2011 issue of New Urban News. Downtown makeover, agrarian urbanism, bike sharing, bike-ped issues, TIGER III livability grants, unlocking remnant land value, selling the neighborhood, Landscape Urbanism vs. New Urbanism, new urban resort, granny flats, The Great Reset.