We met a young couple in the Durango Dog Park the other evening who were visiting from Colorado Springs. They did not have a dog, they just wanted to see the park; they had never seen such a big dog park before, they said.
He is a contractor. She is a medical worker. They had half an eye to relocating, they explained – obviously because Durango is charming, and also because Colorado Springs has become so crowded.
We asked about the new on-ramp signals in the Springs and they grimaced.
We are all spoiled but in different ways.
In the Springs, like the rest of the Front Range, residents are victims of their own success. One place you see that is in slower and slower traffic on Interstate 25, which runs through it like a spine with over a dozen sets of on and off ramps.
Some cities, like Durango, grow along a river or a rail line. The Springs has developed along a highway. Without I-25, it would not be practical to get from one place to another – say, from a home in the Broadmoor area to the Costco up on Nevada Avenue. That’s a 12-mile trip that takes about 30 minutes.
When I-25 is slow, as it often is these days, you see motorists at a standstill in one of the more beautiful parts of the world, which we imagine is like going to a concert and having your hearing aids conk out.
The solution, apparently, is to do what other big car cities have done: Put another signal where the ramp merges and make motorists wait to enter, one at a time.
We suspect I-25 will not be any faster and motorists will have lengthening wait times – but it will not be as bad as it would have been without the new signals, which will cost the state $3.25 million.
We told that nice couple to hurry up and move down here.