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  #11361  
Old Posted May 17, 2018, 5:56 PM
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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
Meandering Moments
More importantly voters have approved boatloads of money that are surely beyond Denver's means.
This just isn't true. The issue is that we lack leaders willing to ask the voters for funding. Transportation is polling #1 statewide and #1/#2 (affordable housing) in Denver. Denver has proven to be willing to fund mobility when asked.
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  #11362  
Old Posted May 17, 2018, 6:04 PM
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Is anyone else concerned how the cost of everything (such as construction, real estate, rentals, medical) are increasing annually much faster than the sub 3% inflation rate and than the sub 2% wage growth? There should be a more direct correlation than this. It is not sustainable, thus the indicator would be that there should be a correction at some point. In fact, the indicators I am aware of seen to be pointing to a fundamental problem with our currency. I could be wrong, but I am wondering if there is far too much currency in circulation? What would be the result of the Federal Treasury buying back 10% of all USD in circulation and then destroying it? What affect would it have if the Treasury converted 10% of the USD in circulation, into a federal blockchain, instead of destroying it? Another scenario, what if the Federal minimum wage were increased to $20/hr? Final scenario, what if any two or more of the above scenarios were executed in conjunction?
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Last edited by SnyderBock; May 17, 2018 at 6:48 PM.
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  #11363  
Old Posted May 17, 2018, 6:05 PM
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Regardless of what bunt may try to tell you, Denver absolutely, without qualification, restriction, or limitation, totally deserves and needs urban light rail.

Who cares about the cost? The $'s are just a bunch of dumb numbers anyway. What voters want is the sizzle and they'll line up to pay for it.

Besides as Cirrus would admonish it does no good to complain, protest, grumble, whine, bleat, carp or grouse about what could have been done a decade or two ago. It's onward and upward from here!

So then, what's next?
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  #11364  
Old Posted May 17, 2018, 7:05 PM
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Denver built a nice starter network of rail at a fairly cost effective price.Even if Denver can only build two more rail lines and three more BRT lines in the next 20 years, that would still put Denver up to 10 Rail lines and 4 BRT lines. In other words, adding only 1 rail and 1.5 BRT lines per decade from here on out, will take Denver into the next tier of mass transit mobility in as little as 2 decades. Any funding passed to accelerate this pace, could double the capacity of the existing system in that 20 years. It is not a terrible position to be in. Denver just made the boat and fellow cities such as Nashville may have completely missed it. Much in the way that Denver missed out on the subway boom that ended in the 1980's. Denver has locked its self into a higher tier that will be challenging and expensive for any future cities to join.
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  #11365  
Old Posted May 17, 2018, 7:17 PM
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The Proposal - Part 'A'

The Urban Signature Line
will be Denver's 'signature' line... duh.

Estimated cost for the 8-miles of new light rail at $150 million per mile = $1.2 billion.

To review, the line will run from approximately Civic Center Station down So. Broadway to the I-25/Broadway Station. The more notable part is along Speer Blvd through Cherry Creek, then along Leetsdale Dr to the SEC of Parker Rd/Mississippi Ave and the High Line Canal Trail. Anticipating grade separations at University, Colorado Blvd, Monaco Pkwy and possibly Quebec and the end of the line Plus the possible need for ROW acquisition using $150 million per mile will hopefully be realistic.

The Boulevard Light Rail Line
The more I thought about this, the more this just made too much sense not to do for many reasons.

Estimated cost for the 7.5-miles of new light rail at ~$125 million per mile = $950 million (rounded up).

The Boulevard Line is to run along Colorado Blvd from the Colorado Station (at I-25) to the 40th and Colorado Station 'A' line stop. I don't see any need for grade separation which leads to lower costs per mile for this line.

BRT is busting out all over
along Federal Blvd then West Colfax Ave and lastly Havana Street.

Estimating costs at a generous $250 million per corridor = $750 million.

Note: these corridors are for the Full Monty, Real Deal centerline BRT. Opportunities for enhanced bus service are a whole other, later topic.

Grand Total: equals $2.9 billion for the above proposed projects.

Bonus Note: I have in mind a 2.5 mile east-west light rail segment that while ingenious and strategically amazing may be seen as a bit funky so we'll hold that as a bonus surprise.
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  #11366  
Old Posted May 17, 2018, 8:00 PM
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Buddy, how can you possibly sell that to the RTD-istrict voters?
Eh, Doobie there are ways, I've got my reasons for being optimistic.
But you're offering Prime Rib to the City of Denver; what about the suburbs?
Don't worry, we'll have some beautiful flank steak to spread around in the burbs; we just have to sell the hell out of the sizzle. Simple really.

Just like Congress I know how to move money around
With respect to the $2.9 billion of projects already determined...

Let's be optimistic and assume there will be a 40 percent match from Federal Grants. That would leave $1.74 billion to fund locally. Let's further assume that IGA's are executed such that the City of Denver and CDOT will each cover 15 percent the cost. That's $261 million each leaving $1.218 billion that RTD would be responsible for resulting in a Walk-in-the-Park sized problem.

Note 1 - When D-MET Transport is passed 35 percent of the revenue will be distributed locally so Denver will have a source for their needed match. Denver's contribution will be a key selling point to the suburbs that Denver has their own skin in the game.

Note 2 - Aurora will be responsible for a match for BRT on Havana. It's also a nice perk for them.
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  #11367  
Old Posted May 17, 2018, 8:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLANSIT View Post
we lack leaders
bunt... bunt..., he's our man; if he can't do it nobody can.

Yeah, it's doable.

SnyderBock... Nice comments; thanks for joining in.
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  #11368  
Old Posted May 18, 2018, 2:16 AM
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D-MET Transport
the revised, amended, updated, streamlined, amazing plan for Denver transportation.

It may not be the $50 billion plans already voter approved for metro Seattle and for metro/City of Phoenix. But it is a nice Denver-sized style and plan. Plus it may be on top of Denver Chamber voter initiative which will add a little more.

Grand Total of new revenue: (the same) $15.5 billion over 25 years.

DRCOG
will now have a simplified more specific purpose. 12.5 percent of new revenue or $1.938 billion will go to DRCOG to fund riparian preservation and restoration and regional trails. This should especially appeal to outlying areas like Parker, Longmont, Brighton, So JeffCo etc.

I guarantee there will be lot of fishing boats full of people that will vote affirmative because of this inclusion. Lots of people who may be only marginally interested in transit but more interested in repaving the street in front of their house will go wild over this provision. Whether it's the High Line Canal, Sand Creek or the Platte River, etc there's no shortage of potential projects.

The balance of revenue
or over $13.5 billion will be split with 65% going to RTD and 35% spread among local cities and counties. Roughly $8.75 billion will go to RTD while the balance of$4.7 billion will be allocated locally for transportation. To summarize:

DRCOG: $1.94 billion
RTD: $8.75 billion
Local: $4.7 billion
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  #11369  
Old Posted May 18, 2018, 2:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
bunt... bunt..., he's our man; if he can't do it nobody can.

Yeah, it's doable.

SnyderBock... Nice comments; thanks for joining in.
Not enough leaders run on the platform of, "it's insulting and chickenshit that my opponent doesn't think you are smart enough to make your own decisions and vote no on a tax." That's why I'll sign a petition to put almost anything on a ballot. If it's stupid, I trust people to say so at the ballot.

And yes, in Colorado this is mostly a Republican problem. They hate taxes. But aren't sure their constituents are quite smart enough to stick to the party line and keep government small.

Not to say Democrats aren't equally arrogant on certain issues. Just a patent distrust of voters on economic issues isn't one of them here locally. (Social issues, maybe different. Dems like to hide behind courts for those.)
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  #11370  
Old Posted May 18, 2018, 2:51 AM
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How to sell the D-Met sizzle

One good way is to front-load the plan. For example a 1% increase in sales taxes (or equivalent) for 7 years, then five-tenths percent for 5 years and finally dropping to .25 percent to fund ongoing RTD operating costs and reserve accounts. Srsly, people love and crave immediate gratification and will pay the pain if it's well defined and time-limited. Then the balance needed to complete $15.5 billion over 25 years can be calculated (estimated upfront) and will be smaller and less (depressing) by front-loading the revenue. This should also lower the amount that would otherwise be bonded which is money saved for additional investment.

As for spreading some tasty flank steak among the suburbs we can look at that later.
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  #11371  
Old Posted Yesterday, 5:24 PM
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DIA sets passenger record for first quarter of 2018
By Ben Miller, Contributing Writer 3 hours ago/DBJ
Quote:
DIA officials said March saw an all-time record for international passenger traffic, with a [nearly] 14 percent increase in international traffic compared with March 2017.
That's impressive.

It's a good thing I oiled my mechanical calculator last night because it turns out all of the record setting 1st quarter passenger traffic was up nearly 14%.
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  #11372  
Old Posted Yesterday, 8:34 PM
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TakeFive - Question for you. Is Valley metro using P3s at all as it moves ahead with the Prop. 104 light rail program, any idea?
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  #11373  
Old Posted Yesterday, 10:33 PM
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TakeFive - Question for you. Is Valley metro using P3s at all as it moves ahead with the Prop. 104 light rail program, any idea?
The short answer is nope.

Had to do a quick-check as it's now referred to as Transportation 2050 (I linked to the funding page). This is just for the City (not metro) and the only near term light rail is the 5.5-mile South Central Extension which is to break ground next year. Cost is ~$750 million. After that is the Northwest Phase II Extension currently in the EA phase. It's only a 1.5 mile extension but it will go over I-17 to Metrocenter.

Afaik, the first P3 in AZ was ADOT's South Mountain Freeway which is a design-build/manage that will open as a 22-mile 8-lane freeway in 2020 with only the standard HOV lanes (no tolls).

With respect to general Valley Metro future plans they've got cute boxes for misc. plans. Projects outside of Phoenix wouldn't involve Transportation 2050 funds. The Phoenix NE and West corridors really should be BRT IMO.
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  #11374  
Old Posted Today, 2:04 AM
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Let's go to the mountains
You mean through the new tunnel?

CDOT proposes fixes to I-70 mountain corridor bottlenecks
May 15, 2018 By Cathy Proctor – Reporter, Denver Business Journal
Quote:
The Colorado Department of Transportation on Tuesday said it wants to bore a tunnel through the mountain at the bottom of Floyd Hill to smooth away a major bottleneck for westbound I-70 travelers.

The proposed tunnel is part of a set of proposed actions that would reconfigure the I-70 and U.S. 6 interchange, improving westbound travel through the mountain corridor.

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  #11375  
Old Posted Today, 3:00 AM
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Tote that barge, lift that bale...
How many can recall Showboat from 1936?

Colorado coalition to rally support for sales tax hike for transportation on fall ballot
May 18, 2018 By Greg Avery – Reporter, Denver Business Journal
Quote:
The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and a large coalition of groups from around Colorado will push to get a .62 percent, 20-year sales tax increase on this fall’s ballot, asking voters to fund billions of dollars worth of transportation infrastructure projects.

“Our research says they’re ready,” said Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Everybody wants to know "how will the money be spent"?
Quote:
If successful, 45 percent of the revenue raised by the tax increase would back up to $6 billion in Colorado Department of Transportation bonds for state highways. Another 40 percent of the new tax revenue would be split between counties and municipalities around the state for transportation projects, and the remaining 15 percent dedicated to transit and multi-modal projects.
This structure is certainly a departure from the tradition of allocating funding primarily to CDOT for the state's highway investment and maintenance needs. But life and times have changed. While CDOT still needs more funding this is never-the-less a significant amount that can accomplish a lot.

The structure of this proposal should dramatically improve the odds of meeting voter approval since counties and municipalities will receive funding for local needs. Given the backdrop of TABOR and the requirement that all tax increases need voter approval passing this would be historical for Colorado.

Once approved by voters CDOT should have the necessary funding to proceed with the above fixes to I-70. That will excite many voters.
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