Ditch the I-70 Ditch. How you can help Denver find a better alternative for I-70

Posted by Mic Ortega on Thursday, March 24th, 2016 at 4:12pm.

Ditch the I-70 Ditch. For those that aren't familiar with this slogan, it refers to Denver's plans to expand I-70 east bound and a grass roots effort to find a better solution than expanding the highway 3 times wider and putting it 40-45 feet below ground level, hence the ditch. There are so many reasons why most Denver residents feel this is a bad idea. Some major concerns are that it will be below the water table in a contaminated ASARCO SuperFund site, it will displace at least 50 families and significantly increase pollution to some of Denver's most depressed neighborhoods and of course cost. The proposed plan will cost Colorado $1.2 billion or $65 million per lane per mile. 

A very dedicated group, Ditch the I-70 Ditch, has fought against this rushed plan by the city to expand and has proposed a great alternative that would help transform the city for the better. The city has unfortunately been ignoring this group but recently The Sierra Club and three community organizations have filed a lawsuit against the EPA and finally this issue is getting the attention it deserves.

This plan for I-70 impacts every single resident of Denver even if you live in Highlands Ranch and use it once a year so we are asking everyone to get involved and help shape the future of our great city. To find out more about the expansion and Ditch the Ditch, click here for the Facebook page and here for the website.

Below is a letter from one of the dedicated leaders of the Ditch the Ditch program, Steve Kinney, on how you can help. Please do anything you can, Denver's future depends on it.

Our fundraising for the litigation is progressing, but we still have a long way to go for both the suit the Sierra Club and three community organizations recently filed against the EPA, and for possible future litigation. The plaintiffs need our help.

Donations to this cause, if made directly to the Sierra Club, are tax deductible. 

Have you seen this video?  I-70 Denver ReImagined 

If you know the 12 Denver neighborhoods that are adjacent to I-70 between Central Park Blvd [at Stapleton] to Harlan [at the western limit of Denver], you will understand very-clearly what this could do to improve the health of the residents; to restore the livability for these neighborhoods which were torn-apart in the 1960s when I-70 was installed; and, to improve the connectivity by weaving the urban fabric back together.

If you know the routes along I-270 and I-76, you understand that there are virtually no homes adjacent to the freeway. The negative impacts are incredibly small.  The positive impacts, especially for economic development for Commerce City, Adams County and a bit of Arvada is immense.

If you’re an I-70 commuter or someone who’s concerned about the way your tax dollars are spent, you’ll be interested in knowing that the I-270/I-76 re-route concept appears that it will cost HALF the amount compared to CDOT’s plan AND it solves the I-70 congestion issues in BOTH directions and on BOTH sides of I-25.  At best, CDOT’s plan solves the issues in one direction [east] and until widening in NW Denver [at immense expense and tolls on residents], it does so on only one side of I-25. 

At best, CDOT’s plan solves the issues in one direction [east] and until widening in NW Denver [at immense expense and tolls on residents], it does so on only one side of I-25.

We need YOUR HELP with a contribution [PLEASE]! We are now moving the needle on the I-70 expansion as we’ve been dreaming of for three years. We’re garnering media coverage in the local and national press regarding the lawsuit filed against the EPA by local community groups and the Sierra Club. 

It feels tragic to us that it has taken a lawsuit to get the attention we’ve now received, but it’s what we needed. The national press is covering this, and local elected leaders are finally realizing that they need to be on the right side of this. 

We need to help the plaintiffs with legal expenses. The plaintiffs had to demonstrate to the attorney that they had $15,000 to get started. By asking a small group of people, we raised what was needed to get the suit filed by an attorney. The attorney is among the five best in this arena in the US, and has committed many hours to this to-date at no expense. 

Please help today by mailing a check payable to: "Sierra Club Foundation” and specifically writing "RMC I-70 Opposition.” IT'S VERY IMPORTANT you put that on the check or it won't go to the right account. 

Mail to:
The Sierra Club Foundation
Attn: Christina Monroe
85 Second St, Suite 750
San Francisco CA 94105.

Your Sierra Club Foundation contribution is a 501c3 contribution and is tax-deductible. If you are able to donate more than $1,000, a very simple form must be filled out [link for form below]

- OR - 

Contribute online here. This route will not be tax deductible, but it’s easy and fast and can be done with your credit card: https://www.youcaring.com/citizens-for-a-greater-denver-540836#.VuteCyWpjhc.gmail

No amount is too small. Thank you for helping with this important campaign that could potentially fast-track us to a victory!

Thank you VERY much.

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