Senator starts Web forum on I-70 fix |

Senator starts Web forum on I-70 fix

DENVER, Colorado ” First Sen. Chris Romer proposed charging people who drive on Interstate 70 during peak times as a way to ease weekend traffic. Then came the angry e-mails and even a few hits on his ski helmet from fellow skiers who hated the idea.

Romer said Friday that he also got over 100 e-mails from people who had great ideas of their own about how to eliminate ski traffic gridlock. He said he wants to hear more so he’s started a user group where people can post their ideas that he will use to help refine his proposal. There’s also a section for people “who want to hit Senator Romer over the head with a ski pole.”

The Denver Democrat hopes to introduce the bill sometime in March.

Romer said the political process usually involves lobbyists asking lawmakers to vote for or against bills and then voters reacting to those ideas by calling or e-mailing their representatives. He said the online forum is a way to turn that around and have the public help shape a bill before it’s even introduced.

“We shouldn’t have the hubris to believe we have the monopoly on solutions,” Romer said.

Under Romer’s original proposal, drivers would be charged up to $12, depending on traffic levels, for using the highway between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. or sent $25 checks for agreeing to stay off the road then.

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