Flawed environmental assessment
The Environmental Assessment (EA) CDOT presented as "justification" for widening "the Gap" with a toll lane rather than a free lane is so technically flawed that it needs to be redone. Briefly:
1. CDOT's claim that building four free lanes instead of adding just one toll lane would increase the project cost is wrong. CDOT is proposing to pave 67 feet each way. For less money (no toll equipment), that 67 feet could be a 7-foot left shoulder, four 12-foot free lanes, and a 12-foot right shoulder, or a highway with four free lanes and wider shoulders than most of I-25 in the entire state.
2. CDOT's own projections prove that there is no meaningful benefit to build a toll lane rather than a free lane on the northbound side.
3. The entire "justification" for building the toll lane rather than a free lane depends completely on the congestion at the north end of the southbound side, where three lanes merge down to two lanes at Plum Creek Parkway. By actually managing the merge, that congestion could be gone in less than six weeks, and the entire EA would be scrap paper.
4. A toll lane will not eliminate the merge south of Plum Creek Parkway, but a free lane would. Since CDOT won't manage the merge as more traffic uses the highway, the back-up at the merge will increase, violating the The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requirement that an "improvement" not have any effect upstream of the project.
It is disappointing that the FHWA approved such a flawed EA. The EA does not prove that a toll lane would provide more benefit than a new free lane over the next 22 years.
In defense of Canada
How can Donald Trump attack and malign Canada? We have never had better allies and he's doing everything he can to drive them away. Is this the action of a sane and responsible national leader?
Personally, my roots are in Canada, and so are many of our other citizens. I hope you hear the outrage from every one of us. I was born here 86 years ago and my mother's family came here in the 1920s. They became nationalized citizens during the Second World War
We have sworn allegiance to this country with our whole heart and souls and many of our members have risked their lives in the service of this country.
Never before has the country of Canada suffered the insults and attack from a politician just to satisfy his insatiable ego. I want an apology from our president (and the Republican Party that made this whole disaster possible) to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his whole country.
Selective enforcement isn't fair
While driving on Woodmen Road today, I noticed a car with a temporary license plate on it that expired March 27, 2018. As a person who recently purchased a vehicle and paid the fee to have it properly licensed and registered, I felt very irritated when I saw this. Isn't it against the law to drive with an expired license plate? Some time back, I remember reading that the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) doesn't have time to stop these offenders - yes, they are offenders. I find this selective law enforcement unfair to us law-biding citizens.
While this may sound petty, what if every vehicle owner took this approach? If a person elects to disregard a simple law such as this, what other laws are they disregarding? How many criminals could potentially be caught by simply stopping these cars? With all the cries for extra funding of police and roadways, it might be interesting to see how much revenue is lost each year to this crime. It's a good thing that Officer Charlie Hanger of the Oklahoma State Patrol didn't disregard an old yellow Mercury without license plates that passed his squad car on I-35 on April 19, 1995. The driver of that vehicle was Timothy McVeigh.
From curses to kudos
During the past year, construction on Woodmen Road from Academy Blvd. to Lexington has been a source of frustration to most commuters that must transit that section daily.
However, if anyone had given it a fair assessment while sitting in some traffic delay, they would have been amazed. A complete reconstruction and total improvement of one of the busiest corridors in Colorado Springs, all being accomplished efficiently while thousands of vehicles per day were passing through the very tight work area. Minimal disruption to the daily travel when you consider the enormity of and the detail involved in this project. And now we are seeing a park-like setting emerge for vehicles and pedestrians to enjoy. C'mon, give 'em a thumbs up now instead of the original gestures that were given so freely during the past year.
Words of a fed-up citizen
In response to Joe Barrera's opinion, "What Happen to America's Decency and Compassion?":
First, we haven't lost it or stopped practicing it. We are a nation of equal and fair laws.
Those who enter illegally are breaking immigration laws plain and simple. Where is the decency and compassion of the governments of Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, etc.? Sounds kind of one-sided on your part and others who think like you and are constantly berating our country.
We are a prosperous nation due to our natural resources, our constitution, our type of government, our people, our traditions, and the understanding that opportunity exists for all and you've just got to want it to be successful. Unfortunately, we've changed to become a country our forefathers might not recognize.
Mr. Barrera, you said that we have labor shortages. Our unemployment rate is the lowest it's ever been. Do you mean we need illegals to come and do the jobs Americans don't want? Here's a solution: Have those that are on government assistance do that work. Oh wait, that's not practicing love, decency and compassion. Instead, let's give them free stuff.
You say that politicians are fear-mongering and contributing to putting a black mark on our community? Haven't illegals caused death and destruction to law-abiding citizens? Have they not cost millions of dollars in government aid? I personally like that Trump's administration is doing something about illegals such as MS-13. They have no place in this country.
In your last paragraph, you stated that we in Colorado Springs do not believe in facts and have sunk into irrational emotionalism and fear. Maybe it's anger, not fear. We (U.S. citizens) are fed up, we are intelligent, and we know what is happening (California).
LeRoy J. Valdez