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Is the I70 traffic REALLY that bad? - Page 3

post #61 of 78

I70 back open.

post #62 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

And not long from now somebody will be telling me how Summit County crowds are exaggerated...

There was nobody on the mountain today. They were all on I-70 biggrin.gif

The stream of vehicles coming into Winter Park was incredible this afternoon. It's like a holiday weekend. I don't know what is up with all the Sunday driver types out in all conditions this year, but seriously, f$ck.
post #63 of 78

I had lived in the Denver area (Arvada) for a few winters back in the mid to late '00s, so I think I can comment on that (If anything, things are probably even worse now!).  I had a season pass at Copper and/or Keystone.  The good-weather, traffic-free trip to/from Copper to my place took 70 minutes.

 

I was "retired" (or "unemployed", but with a decent amount of cash saved up so I didn't have to work to have money to survive) so I wasn't beholden to only ski on the weekends.  I only skied when the weather was (supposed to be) good, and only got caught in a bad storm once, and AIRI, that trip back took 8 hours..:eek  My attitude was to stay home on any bad weather days (and even on possibly bad, after that nightmare trip back), and my standard operating procedure was to always have a day of recuperation between skiing days.  The perfect situation was when I could do a Monday-Wednesday-Friday swing, in which case I would typically skip Sunday and just go again on Monday.  Except for holidays, the midweek traffic was not an issue at all, except sometimes a little urban congestion right before my exit, Wadsworth Blvd, but that was at worst a mile or two, and only added maybe 5 minutes.  And some holidays like Christmas Day & Thanksgiving Day had no traffic, but i do remember Christmas Week to be somewhat more packed, but generally still not too bad.except for some congestion going east into the tunnel (and not that much).

 

However, often times, it would not work out like that, and if it were early in the season and I haven't started feeling like I had had enough skiing, I would do the occasional weekend trip, especially if the weather was great. Of course, unfortunately, so would all the working stiffs. :mad  My regular schedule for a ski day would be to leave about 9:00, which would give me enough time to do 16 top-down runs at the Super Bee at Copper, which was pretty much my capacity without undue soreness, and with a nice beer break in the middle.  If I left any later, the beer break was the first to be discarded, followed by some of those 16 runs.  Why this matters is because this is when I would go on the weekends.  I noticed that yes, before Christmas, weekends were generally OK, with little delay going there, and no more than an extra 15 minutes coming back.  But once mid January rolled around, and especially into March when it got a little warmer, the weekends became ridiculous.  Saturdays had really bad traffic going there, and it got to the point where I just gave up going on that day; Sundays were generally OK going there, with there being maybe a little congestion around Evergreen, but generally OK after that. 

 

However coming back on Saturday or Sunday was ridiculous.  If I stopped skiing at Copper at exactly 16:00 and proceeded to go back, typically the CDOT sign would typically say something like "3 hours to Denver", with the section between the Silverthorne exit and the tunnel as solid congestion. :mad  I started to just automatically stop and get dinner in Dillon on those weekends, which sometimes would do the trick, but if not, I simply stopped at the mall next to the Silverthorne exit and hung around in the Border's (or was it some other name) bookstore, and hang out there for at least whatever the CDOT sign said minus an hour.  When that sign would say something no more than 1:30 to Denver, I'd go back, and there would be a little congestion at the tunnel, and some stop & go sections between Georgetown and Empire; mind you, this could end up me getting back at 21:00! :mad It got to the point that I would only do those weekend trips if I had gotten in only 1 day during the week (i.e., because of a long stretch of bad weather).

post #64 of 78

I still drive up to Aspen and back about 5-10 times a year.   It's pretty easy to miss the peak travel periods and I haven't had it take more than four hours in a long,long time. Normally 3:15 in the winter from the airport and  little under 3 going over Independence in the summer.

post #65 of 78

I can't even figure out what the "peak travel periods" are anymore, at least during the summer.  Sun July 3,WB I-70 completely jammed at Floyd Hill, including frontage road, at 11:30 in morning. WTF?  Turned around and went down the hill to Denver to work.

Sat July 9 had appointment at Steadman Clinic in Vail.  Left my house at 11:15 and the normal 1:10 drive from my house to Vail took 2:40. WTF? Why is the front range crowd headed up to the hills so late in the day?

post #66 of 78

Because they can.  It's not like like the winter when the lifts close at 3:30-4. It's light out till  9pm right now.

 

I usually drive up Thursday night and come back Monday or Tuesday on peak weekend.   But I also drove back on a few Sundays during the shoulder season and it just wasn't that bad.

post #67 of 78
Summer traffic is much less predictable. I have had horrendous summer drives. There is also usually more construction which mucks things up.

I do the Denver to Snowmass drive every weekend in the winter. I leave Denver no later than 6pm on Friday and don't leave Snowmass before 5. I don't want to be in Frisco before 7pm.
post #68 of 78


^^^  right!   And there has been some unpredictable days this summer.  I'm using the express toll lane when it's open.  I wonder what the usage stats are because on one day during the 4th weekend I think it had way more users than any day I saw during ski season.

post #69 of 78

and yesterday I paid the $7 for the Express Lane.  When I saw the electronic sign say "safety metering at tunnel 60 minute delay possible" I interpreted a level of ambiguity.  I decided to drive over Loveland Pass, hit the Bakerville exit, and use the Express Lane.  Again it doesn't matter,  winter or summer, people are still hopping between lanes. 

post #70 of 78

I give up on I70.  Winter, Summer, and Fall.  Just count on a shit show and if it's not then consider it a bonus.  It shouldn't take me 2:20 to get to Copper on a week day Fri. morning.  I heard Sat. morning was messed up also.  Metering east bound most of the day Sunday.  Looks like leaving very early or late is the best option.

post #71 of 78
This whole summer has been a shit show. I pretty much won't drive I-25 anywhere near rush hour anymore because it's such a disaster now between south Denver and Monument. 105 is my new favorite road.

This whole low gas prices thing is ruining my semi-elitist use of public infrastructure biggrin.gif.
post #72 of 78

A friend and I were discussing this very situation the other day, we used to ski in upstate NY before moving here to Colorado 22 years ago .As an outcome of the discussion he mentioned this board and this thread which I found interesting.

 

For me (Our family for the most part) we solved this problem completely a while ago. We hung up the boards. Between the rude skiers, crowds on the slopes, lift lines, overpriced food and drink, having to park in the next zip code and bus in etc, it all became far too much hassle. The I 70 traffic is a total no-go for us. The cost of lift tickets are ridiculous, if others want to pay those prices, fine, not us. Prime event I recall was taking my son and a couple of his friends on a Wednesday in April years back, in decent weather with traffic backed up stop and go to west of Idaho Springs. Finally got fed up and turned around, took the boys to lunch and headed home. Since then seems every jerkoff and their brother has moved to Colorado making the situation worse, glad we got to enjoy sking before it became ruined.

 

We skied for 27 years, used to get every run we could get in on days on the slope, last lift ride out regularly. But after all those years we must have gotten our fill, haven't skied in 3+ years now and don't miss it a tiny bit. Have great memories of great  days in the past but had our fill. Let them jam up I70, no impact to me, I'll never be there again, have had occasional offers of free lift tickets and turn them down, not worth the hassles and at this point no longer interested.

 

Some days if conditions are right we head out and do a little cross country and if we ever do get the bug to ever downhill again it will be a drive to ski cooper for a cheaper, less congested relaxing day. Haven't actually skied in Summit county in at least 6 years, probably longer.

post #73 of 78
^^^^I have a three word response to that post:

Season Pass.

Tuesday.
post #74 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by formerskier View Post
 

The I 70 traffic is a total no-go for us

 

The day I get to this point (and the day may come) is the day I move to the mountains. I will make an impassioned and compelling case to my company for telecommuting but they better not make me choose because they'll lose.

post #75 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by formerskier View Post
 

A friend and I were discussing this very situation the other day, we used to ski in upstate NY before moving here to Colorado 22 years ago .As an outcome of the discussion he mentioned this board and this thread which I found interesting.

 

For me (Our family for the most part) we solved this problem completely a while ago. We hung up the boards.

 

...

 

Some days if conditions are right we head out and do a little cross country and if we ever do get the bug to ever downhill again it will be a drive to ski cooper for a cheaper, less congested relaxing day. Haven't actually skied in Summit county in at least 6 years, probably longer.

I used to live in the foothills west of Fort Collins. I took the route up the Poudre Canyon, over Cameron Pass and down through Granby to Winter Park. Some days I didn't see a dozen cars between where I got on Hwy 14 and the south end of 125. You did want a capable, reliable vehicle, though. If you got into trouble, help was a long way away.

 

After moving into Fort Collins itself, I bought a little studio in Winter Park and drove up I70 on Friday afternoon/evening. Traffic wasn't bad. On Sunday, we would go to the condo and have dinner, then head for home about 7pm. Traffic wasn't bad then, either. But that was 12 years ago.

 

A dozen years ago, we moved to the interior of British Columbia (so we don't go to Whistler very often). Now I don't have to have two places, the traffic is never a problem, and the snow is better. And I even have a Real Job. Season passes are much more expensive, but it's a whole lot cheaper than owning and paying fees on a condo.

 

So I, too, threw in the towel on I70, but I didn't stop skiing. In many ways, the skiing is now better.

post #76 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post
 

I used to live in the foothills west of Fort Collins. I took the route up the Poudre Canyon, over Cameron Pass and down through Granby to Winter Park. Some days I didn't see a dozen cars between where I got on Hwy 14 and the south end of 125. You did want a capable, reliable vehicle, though. If you got into trouble, help was a long way away.

Forgive my ignorance, is 14 open all winter?  Google maps says it's quicker to drive through Laramie, WY than take 14.  I'm hoping it's quicker in real life?  With i70 being such a mess, maybe 14 would be a good alt route to Steamboat, WP or other areas.

post #77 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanvg View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post
 

I used to live in the foothills west of Fort Collins. I took the route up the Poudre Canyon, over Cameron Pass and down through Granby to Winter Park. Some days I didn't see a dozen cars between where I got on Hwy 14 and the south end of 125. You did want a capable, reliable vehicle, though. If you got into trouble, help was a long way away.

Forgive my ignorance, is 14 open all winter?  Google maps says it's quicker to drive through Laramie, WY than take 14.  I'm hoping it's quicker in real life?  With i70 being such a mess, maybe 14 would be a good alt route to Steamboat, WP or other areas.

Yes, 14 is open all winter. Cameron Pass is aggressively maintained.

 

I only went through Laramie once to get to Steamboat, and it took me longer than going over Cameron Pass. YMMV.

 

If I was going to Winter Park, I usually took County Road 27 from NW of Gould to Rand. It's a gravel ranch access road, but much shorter than going up through Walden. It's easy to get lost, though, and getting lost, or having car trouble, or sliding off the road on a cold night in January is to be avoided at all costs. I had a 3/4-ton 4x4 Suburban. And a winter weight down sleeping bag in the back. 27 was usually plowed. But not always.

 

All in all, a completely different experience than I70! Kind of the long way around from Denver, though.

post #78 of 78
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