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More attempts to fix I-70 traffic on Sundays...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

CDOT I-70 plan turns two lines into four at Eisenhower Tunnel

POSTED:   11/24/2012 12:01:00 AM MST
By The Associated Press
 
Traffic travels eastbound on I-70 through the twin tunnels east of Idaho Springs. CDOT officials have a new plan to ease I-70 congestion.(Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

VAIL — The Colorado Department of Transportation has a new plan to smooth traffic on Interstate 70, where the Eisenhower Tunnel often clogs on ski weekends.

The Vail Daily reported Friday that CDOT will try a different tactic to smooth eastbound traffic on I-70 between Silverthorne and the Eisenhower Tunnel. That's where traffic clogs worst on Sunday afternoons and evenings as skiers head back to Denver.

Near the tunnel, eastbound traffic is funneled from three lanes to two. At about that spot, the transportation department is working on a system that will move traffic into four lanes when traffic is heavy, using the highway's existing shoulders. The four lanes would have fast-cycling traffic lights like the ones use on some freeway entrance ramps during heavy traffic.

CDOT spokeswoman Stacy Stegman said the new system could replace "metering" at the tunnels. That system stopped traffic on the west side of the tunnels but led to long delays.

"For every minute you delay traffic, it can take between four and eight minutes to get it moving again," Stegman said.

The new system will get its first test next month, just as holiday traffic starts to really build, Stegman said. That first test will use human flaggers and traffic lights.

Wave Dreher, the spokeswoman for AAA Colorado, said holiday travel this year is expected to be at about the levels it reached last year. According to AAA, nearly 650,000 state residents will travel at least 50 miles by car over Thanksgiving.



Read more:CDOT I-70 plan turns two lines into four at Eisenhower Tunnel - The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_22056379/cdot-i-70-plan-turns-two-lines-into#ixzz2D9N1erXL
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post #2 of 14

hmm, seems like a decent quick fix. it certainly will help. just not sure to what degree but hey anything helps

post #3 of 14

Another short term  attempt that will have minimal impact. Too bad it's going to be stop and go for the next 40 miles of I70....

 

They need to bite the bullet and expand I70 to 3 lanes in each direction, Golden to Vail, and put in a 2 lane reversible mass transit route with express bus service to Silverthorne (where it can connect with Summit Stage)

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

I don't understand how expanding lanes en route to tunnel will help when tunnel itself is still only two lanes. There's no way to expand them inside tunnel.

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

I don't understand how expanding lanes en route to tunnel will help when tunnel itself is still only two lanes. There's no way to expand them inside tunnel.

I was scratching my head about that one too. Here's what I guess they want to happen.  The speed that gets the most cars through the tunnel is lower than the current speed limit, probably about 40mph. They want to use a stoplight system similar to the metering lights on onramps to feed the tunnel with just the right amount of cars to get maximum throughput. To do this they need more than two lanes of cars stopped at the lights, in this case four. Glad I don't have to do the drive anymore.


Edited by stevesmith7 - 11/24/12 at 9:25am
post #6 of 14

Yay, another attempt to put a really shitty bandage on a giant festering wound of a problem, kicking the can further down the road.

 

I remember last year where it was being seriously reported that the WHOLE traffic problem was people tapping their brakes entering twin tunnels and slowing traffic all the way back to Eisenhower.

 

Then the problem was all the people using the frontage road and then merging back onto the highway at Idaho Springs.

 

Then the problem was that traffic needed to be paced to keep cars going at different speeds needing to brake.

 

Never mind the fact that I-70 is way over capacity, and will only get worse and worse and worse. Instead of wasting money with this shit, they need to be adding lanes. Take the money wasted on these stupid ideas and put it towards incrementally extending the 3 lane road down from Floyd Hill, and then Clear creek canyon, etc.  Even without the money to rebuild Eisenhower, if the only two lane section is the tunnel, that would still be worlds better than today.  Spend what can be afforded out of the highway program to do a little bit a year.

 

.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

Yay, another attempt to put a really shitty bandage on a giant festering wound of a problem, kicking the can further down the road.

 

I remember last year where it was being seriously reported that the WHOLE traffic problem was people tapping their brakes entering twin tunnels and slowing traffic all the way back to Eisenhower.

 

Then the problem was all the people using the frontage road and then merging back onto the highway at Idaho Springs.

 

Then the problem was that traffic needed to be paced to keep cars going at different speeds needing to brake.

 

Never mind the fact that I-70 is way over capacity, and will only get worse and worse and worse. Instead of wasting money with this shit, they need to be adding lanes. Take the money wasted on these stupid ideas and put it towards incrementally extending the 3 lane road down from Floyd Hill, and then Clear creek canyon, etc.  Even without the money to rebuild Eisenhower, if the only two lane section is the tunnel, that would still be worlds better than today.  Spend what can be afforded out of the highway program to do a little bit a year.

 

.


Quoted for absolute truth.

 

It's the old "10 pounds of shit into a 5 pound bag" issue with I70. It's way over capacity, and that's really the only thing to it. The best solution is to expand capacity additional lanes and/or mass transit options.

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

Yay, another attempt to put a really shitty bandage on a giant festering wound of a problem, kicking the can further down the road.

 

I remember last year where it was being seriously reported that the WHOLE traffic problem was people tapping their brakes entering twin tunnels and slowing traffic all the way back to Eisenhower.

 

Then the problem was all the people using the frontage road and then merging back onto the highway at Idaho Springs.

 

Then the problem was that traffic needed to be paced to keep cars going at different speeds needing to brake.

 

Never mind the fact that I-70 is way over capacity, and will only get worse and worse and worse. Instead of wasting money with this shit, they need to be adding lanes. Take the money wasted on these stupid ideas and put it towards incrementally extending the 3 lane road down from Floyd Hill, and then Clear creek canyon, etc.  Even without the money to rebuild Eisenhower, if the only two lane section is the tunnel, that would still be worlds better than today.  Spend what can be afforded out of the highway program to do a little bit a year.

 

.

So true. Even thou the tunnel is a problem I can recall tons of times where there was only mild traffic at the tunnel and then stop and go a few miles past it. 

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

I don't understand how expanding lanes en route to tunnel will help when tunnel itself is still only two lanes. There's no way to expand them inside tunnel.

Design a crossover and run one lane in the oncoming tunnel with the flow of traffic. You could even test it as HOV on certain weekends. It isn't so much as you need more than four tunnel lanes, you just need 3 going one way in the morning and the other way in the afternoon.

Key would be separating the two lanes in each tunnel safely, but they aren't long enough that dropping speed limits should hurt.

This would allow a traffic study on the effect of adding lanes without spending much, and might illuminate whether the biggest problem is the tunnels or needing an Idaho Springs bypass solution that merges local traffic further uphill, for example.
post #10 of 14
Close 9 at Breck's north town limit except for local traffic every Sunday or Monday holiday and send all the Breck skiers back to the front range via Fairplay.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

Close 9 at Breck's north town limit except for local traffic every Sunday or Monday holiday and send all the Breck skiers back to the front range via Fairplay.


It would never work. You can't pick and choose who gets to use a state owned and funded highway...

 

More lanes with mass transit options. That's the solution.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


Design a crossover and run one lane in the oncoming tunnel with the flow of traffic. You could even test it as HOV on certain weekends. It isn't so much as you need more than four tunnel lanes, you just need 3 going one way in the morning and the other way in the afternoon.
Key would be separating the two lanes in each tunnel safely, but they aren't long enough that dropping speed limits should hurt.
This would allow a traffic study on the effect of adding lanes without spending much, and might illuminate whether the biggest problem is the tunnels or needing an Idaho Springs bypass solution that merges local traffic further uphill, for example.

Lots of truth in this...One problem I see with the 3/1 tunnel solution is that the tunnel is pretty narrow so putting in a barricade between the lanes might be the only way to go and this could cause other issues.

 

I have lived in Summit 4+ years and driven to/from Denver/Front Range 20+ times and don`t think I have ever experienced serious traffic...of course, I try to avoid the times when I know there will be heavy skier traffic. I-70 is really only over-crowded maybe 5-10% of the time at most.  Making it a toll road for non-HOV Sunday afternoons would likely do a lot to ease congestion and could help to fund expansion.

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

Making it a toll road for non-HOV Sunday afternoons would likely do a lot to ease congestion and could help to fund expansion.

 

Great - charge people who will are smart enough to stay off the highway Sunday afternoons.. It would make more sense to raise the money by charging DIA skiiers a "Sunday" tax or something.

 

I tend to either apres till late or just come back east on Monday AM. Beats the heck of flashing my brights at red license plates in the left lane ;)

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velobuff View Post

 

Great - charge people who will are smart enough to stay off the highway Sunday afternoons.. It would make more sense to raise the money by charging DIA skiiers a "Sunday" tax or something.

 

I tend to either apres till late or just come back east on Monday AM. Beats the heck of flashing my brights at red license plates in the left lane ;)

That`s what I meant...should have said charge a toll Sunday afternoons to all non-HOV (figuring that carpools should get a break)

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