Last week over 80 Jeffco citizens attended the information session presented in Golden on the status and future of the WestConnect project. The Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) contractors …
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Last week over 80 Jeffco citizens attended the information session presented in Golden on the status and future of the WestConnect project. The Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) contractors provided the information via numerous graphics, answered questions, and accepted written comments. Notable is the change to the purpose of the Study from completing the "Western Beltway" from C-470 in Golden to the NW Parkway via the proposed Jefferson Parkway (JP) toll highway and the Interlocken Loop in Broomfield. The Study area now omits the JP and Interlocken Loop segments and includes improvements to and an extension of SH-93 north of Golden to the Boulder city limits.
The need for widening and making interchange improvements to dangerous and congested SH-93 is long standing and will do much more to improve transportation in north Jeffco than the JP could. Proposed improvements to SH-93 will also be less costly because they involve adding new lanes to the existing free highway vs. building four new JP toll lanes that would be little used. The measure of little use was shown as traffic projections "with and without" the JP connecting to SH-93. That part of the PEL Study projected about 12,000 vehicles per day on the JP when/if all segments are completed (2040), compared with the 70,000 vehicles per day claimed by the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority when they requested approval for the JP from DRCOG. As always, funding is a problem, but the revised highway plan is eligible for state and federal assistance; whereas, the JP is a "stand alone" project that CDOT and DRCOG say will not receive federal or state funds. The only way to pay for the Parkway will be to raise taxes on neighboring residents and businesses, as the projected toll revenue will never pay for it. North Jeffco citizens are not likely to vote to raise taxes on themselves to pay for the toll highway.
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