Can traffic jams to and from Vail be reduced?
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado ” Anyone who has ever sat in traffic on Interstate 70 on their way to or from Vail, Colorado, and thought about ways to end the congestion now has a person to talk to.
Boulder resident Tad Kline was recently selected by the I-70 Coalition, which is studying ways to reduce congestion on the mountain stretch of the freeway, to come up with solutions.
And, Kline says, he’s open to suggestions.
“Everyone that does that drive has an opinion or an idea, and somewhere in the mix is the person with the right idea,” Kline said. “I am confident that there are things we can do to make the corridor 10 to 15 percent better without having to spend billions.”
Kline considers himself to be more of a policy person than a traffic engineer, and prior to his appointment, he served as the chairman of Boulder’s first citizen’s transportation board.
Trained as a lawyer, Kline also has served on the Boulder town council, where he helped expand the city’s bus system.
“My job is to figure out ways to get people to travel smarter,” Kline said. “Whether it’s car pooling, a better bus system, flex time or whatever. We’re open to ideas.”
Kline’s salary is $60,000 a year.
In his first few months on the job, Kline said, he is looking at other highways across the nation facing similar problems, but he realizes the I-70 mountain corridor is unique.
“Almost everywhere else, there are alternative routes, and here, I-70 is really the only way to go,” Kline said. “This is a one-of-a-kind corridor, but that is why people tend to love it so much.”
The I-70 Coalition also is studying a monorail or similar system.
One of the main problems that Kline is looking to address is the traffic congestion during ski season, particularly during peak times on Friday afternoons and Sundays.
Weather is another traffic concern and one that Kline believes is unique for I-70 in the mountains.
“People want to be up here the most when the weather is the worse,” Kline said. “So we need to figure out how to address that while spreading out the peak traffic. It’s daunting at times, but I’m excited to search for more potential solutions.”
Ashley Dickson can be reached at (970) 668-4629, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.