Monorail stuck in traffic | VailDaily.com

Monorail stuck in traffic

Don Rogers

The biggest obstacle for a monorail to the mountains, besides Gov. Asphalt, is the expense of a solution pretty much for weekends during ski season.

Up here in the High Country, of course it makes perfect sense to spend several times the state’s transportation budget on solving our Friday and Sunday evening gridlock between Idaho Springs and the Eisenhower tunnel.

But the Front Range might argue that rush hour every day might be a little bigger concern to them. In fact, they did, overwhelmingly, if you recall the results of that ballot measure a couple of years back asking voters to approve $4 billion just to test the concept.

The rest of the state must be wondering what we’re smoking as we stew over the lack of a monorail among the small host of alternatives for easing traffic on I-70 between Eagle County and the Front Range.

In the long term, yep, a monorail makes sense with the attributes promised – 120 mph, a magnetic system that sends the trains swooping up steepish grades, easy on the pocketbook rates, a heavy “cool” factor. The reality is that this solution is very expensive, and for now too expensive for the relative luxury of getting to and from the ski resorts an hour or two sooner.

In the shorter term, addressing the chokepoints is the right answer. And addressing the chokepoints means widening the funnel at the stem for the weekends and understanding, however grudgingly, that the drive outside the mountain rush hour remains smooth and swift.

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Shoot this …

Talk about uptight: Apparently our Ryan and Trista are such a hot commodity that the vaunted US magazine staff at a photo shoot in Beaver Creek’s village went into a tizzy recently over a Vail Daily photographer and writer who happened onto the scene.

Well, not the whole staff. A writer was gracious and perhaps inadvertently provided information to our writer about details somewhat less weighty than the timing and location of the next raid in Tikrit.

The photo shoot supervisor, however, came unglued, threatening our photographer with lawsuits piled high if we printed anything from the shoot in a completely public area.

Back at base, we really, really wish our photographer had taken some pictures of the shoot. Then we’d run them not so much for the interest factor but to repay US in kind.

What could have – and should have – been a cute teaser for the magazine instead was a sour experience with the professional paparazzi and a lesson for us about holding our ground in the field. Ah well, People is the better celeb mag anyway. So there.