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Carfree in Denver

Old 06-21-11, 09:38 AM
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Carfree in Denver

This is a short guest column from the Denver Post from a woman sho loves being carfree, even though she sees room for improvement. She compares carfree living in Denver to Chicago and Seoul, Korea.

Excerpts:
"We are raised on cars. For many Americans, the idea of riding a public bus or train seems foreign and inconvenient. Car owners who have no experience with public transportation may believe a car is always the necessary method to get from here to there.

Two years ago, I moved to Denver from Chicago, well practiced in public transportation and committed to life without a car. To me, there is independence in the car-free lifestyle. It is freedom from hefty car payments and dealings with insurance companies. It is the freedom to walk any way I want down one-way streets, to cut through fields of untouched snow on the way to the store, to observe the moving city around me without worrying if I am holding up traffic or about to cause an accident."

[....]

"This freedom, however, comes at a cost. Without a car in Denver, it takes longer to go just about anywhere. It takes more planning and more patience. The appeal of owning a car is not lost on me, especially in Colorado, where cars are necessary for trips to the mountains and Sunday rides in the foothills.

Like most American cities, Denver's adequate but inefficient public transit system will never reach its full potential without more citizens who use it. Denver could lead the country in greener, community-oriented practices that encourage lifestyles where we walk, ride and bus more often.

Denverites, in general, love the environment, are committed to healthy lifestyles and will do anything to be outside. So why does it seem like the number of Denverites who support those ideals is disproportionate to the number who use public transportation?



Read more: Guest Commentary: A car-free life in Denver - The Denver Post https://www.denverpost.com/commented/...#ixzz1PvPFkDqa
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: https://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse
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Old 06-21-11, 03:57 PM
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Good article and a sad commentary on the state of mass transit in much of the US. My brother lives just south of Denver in Highlands Ranch. We were out there last year and I was disappointed in the lack of coverage and the amount of time it took to actually use the light rail/bus service if you weren't right on the line. We wanted to go out to Golden to see the railroad museum, it would have taken over 2 hours by train and bus to get there, less than 30 minutes by car. But what do you expect when you live in a country that is based on the automobile as a form of mass transit.

I find it hard to believe that they built the Denver airport in 1995 and they are just now getting around to getting the light rail out to it... 20 years later!

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Old 06-27-11, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc
I find it hard to believe that they built the Denver airport in 1995 and they are just now getting around to getting the light rail out to it... 20 years later!
Google "DIA conspiracy"... the airport was never intended for the average person, it's an end-of-the-world bombshelter

But yeah, pretty crazy that there's no train to it and I'm not sure how to bike there except on the highway.
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Old 06-27-11, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by RadioFlyer
Google "DIA conspiracy"... the airport was never intended for the average person, it's an end-of-the-world bombshelter

But yeah, pretty crazy that there's no train to it and I'm not sure how to bike there except on the highway.
I lived in Denver for a long time, and I'd have to agree that in general the mass transit system is, if not quite awful, not really that efficient at all, especially since that city is really spread out. And there does seem to be a general sense, even among so-called green types, that a car is utterly necessary for survival. However, the bike path system there is pretty spectacular; you can actually ride very safely and quickly from downtown Denver to downtown Boulder, a distance of almost 40 miles. (I have to laugh every time I hear people in Seattle bragging about their one bike path in the entire city.)

In addition, there are good transit options to get to DIA. There is a shuttle bus that goes from Boulder straight to DIA in about 35 minutes.

Last edited by bragi; 06-27-11 at 08:41 PM. Reason: corrected a misspelling
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Old 06-28-11, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bragi
However, the bike path system there is pretty spectacular; you can actually ride very safely and quickly from downtown Denver to downtown Boulder, a distance of almost 40 miles.
yup! Over 500 miles of bike trails in the greater Denver area.

My seven mile commute is about 95% bike trail.
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