Letter: I-70 corridor needs representation | VailDaily.com

Letter: I-70 corridor needs representation

Ali Hasan
Candidate, House District 56

I have a deep respect for bipartisanship and the goal to work as one for the benefit of all. However, is bipartisanship hurting us?

In this past legislative session, we saw the introduction of two bills calling for toll booths on Interstate 70, from both the Democratic and Republican parties. These are the same parties who gave us Referendums C and D, and T-Rex when I-25 faced congestion, but give us toll booths when our I-70 gets congested.

Clearly, bipartisanship is alive and well when it comes to ostracizing our Western Slope.

So it is time to take a stand; a stand that will force our Western Slope issues to be discussed openly, in a dignified forum. If elected as your representative, I promise to introduce a bill calling for a high-speed railway to be built from Denver International Airport to Eagle County. The bill will ask for the solicitation of bids from any companies excited to construct the project, with research done on their budget, not ours.

We will dictate that private municipal bonds be used as a major source of financing, as well as federal funds, relieving the Colorado taxpayer as much as possible.

Some may have reservations. But consider the fact that we have all spent over $15 billion on Boston’s Big Dig project. Or how about the Bridge To Nowhere? Is it not time for our government to take on a useful project? Bullet trains exist all over the world, including Japan’s 10-year-old Asama train, which hurdles through treacherous mountains and snowy terrain in route from Tokyo to Nagano. European ski resorts also boast many high-speed trains. Our ski industry will continue to suffer should we not take advantage of such technology.

The idea has been tested and it works around the world. Taking lessons from Europe and Japan, we can build a better train, at greater speed, at a cheaper price. And when we do, we will open a Western Slope dialogue.

If we are to be satisfied with the current business-as-usual environment in Denver, then let us keep going down the same path. But if we desire to make a real change in our state’s capitol, then let us march there with a bold voice and a powerful vision.

If elected as your state representative, it is my promise to carry such voice and vision.

May peace be upon you all.

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