Charles, I’ve lived in Castle Rock for the last 18 years and have seen rapid growth in the last 15 years. We have a big problem with transportation in this Town. I commute to downtown Denver and spend 720 hours a year commuting. Every day is getting worse on I-25 and Hwy. 85, it’s a parking lot that starts at Castle Pines. What are your plans to help the commuters with this major traffic problem? Do you oppose bringing RTD down to Castle Rock? I’m interested in hearing your views. Thanks in advance!
Do I oppose bringing RTD into Castle Rock?
I do not oppose reopening negotiations with RTD to provide services to Castle Rock. RTD typically operates by imposing a sales tax on the areas that it covers, and an additional 1% sales tax in Castle Rock would make Castle Rock one of the most expensive Sales Tax Rates along the front range.
Before we can fully settle on a plan we need to identify and prioritize the problems we would be trying to address. From my conversations with residents, I would propose the following list of objectives in order of priority.
- Lower congestion and commute times
- Increase availability of in town transit, for seniors, youth, retail, downtown, and special events.
- Increase parking opportunities (especially downtown, and for events everywhere)
- Decrease inbound congestion and parking concerns
Here are the possibilities that I would explore more fully with the relevant costs and benefits put in front of the residents to make informed choices.
- RTD could surprise us a and provide a robust set of services for the 1% sales tax increase that supports commuters, improves congestion and parking constraints, and generally does everything Castle Rock needs and wants with no additional overhead from the city.
- Bustang. The city is currently in negations to get a Bustang stop in Castle Rock. This would be a great option that could scale for our outbound commuters, but would not help inbound workers. The Town would have some infrastructure changes that would be needed.
- Light Rail- Is typically managed by RTD, but the infamous A route is part of a public/private partnership. A partnership has the most potential to connect Castle Rock to the greater RTD infrastructure, but prime private partnerships with Promenade and Miller’s landing represent significant missed opportunities by current and past councils.
- I-25 Additional expansion- This would be a Federal and State initiative, but Castle Rock should support any efforts to make i-25 more robust.
- C 85 Expansion- This would be a State and County initiative, but again Castle Rock should support efforts to increase capacity.
- Front Range Commuter Rail– This is a huge state-wide project, but Castle Rock should do everything in its power to be a destination. This would not only help our transportation issues, but it could present a huge economic boost with our over-reliance on sales tax.
- Increased primary employment opportunities locally- The earlier items all focus on the supply side of the transportation economics, but we should also pay attention to the demand side of the economic curve. If Castle Rock can shift emphasis from a retail and bedroom community to a more full-service community, we could see congestion lower simply because our residents could live AND work in Castle Rock.
- Municipal Broadband- this again speaks to the demand, if we can lower the number of commuters with full-time telecommuting employees or even just flex schedules we can have a material impact on congestion and commute times by simply shifting usage times.
- Hyperloop– if we are going to dream, dream big.