Spring ’16 Newsletter

Spring ’16 Newsletter


The Smart Commuter

North I-25 Express Lanes Open for Testing in March

The highly anticipated North I-25 Express Lanes are opening for testing this month. Already, on March 14, the northbound North I-25 Express Lane opened to traffic, and the southbound lane is scheduled to open March 21. The lanes span six miles from I-25 from 120th Avenue to the existing Central I-25 Express Lanes in Denver, which end at US 36. Travelers can drive in the lanes for free and learn how to use them while toll collection is waived during the testing period.

Once testing is complete, drivers can choose to ride a bus, pay a toll as a single driver or carpool for free with one other person and an ExpressToll account and pass. The three adjacent general purpose lanes will also always be free.

What you need to know about the North I-25 Express Lanes:

  • The North I-25 Express Lanes will be available 24 hours a day and connect to the existing Central I-25 Express Lanes, which are reversible lanes that are open in certain directions at different times of the day. As part of this project, there is a new connection to the existing Express Lane section that will force southbound traffic back on I-25 by 70th Street when the reversible lanes are northbound.
  • CDOT wants to encourage throughput and will charge one price for the whole section, no matter where the driver enters.
  • Northbound travelers:
    • There are three northbound entries to the new Express Lane, and one toll is charged for the entire section.
    • From northbound I-25, entrances are: before 84th Avenue, before Thornton Parkway, and before 104th Avenue.
  • Southbound travelers:
    • There are three entrances to the southbound I-25 Express Lanes: after 120th Avenue, before Thornton Parkway and before 84th Avenue.
    • Entrances to the existing Express Lanes to Denver are at the I-270 exit ramp and another chance to enter right after the I-270 exit.
  • Drivers who currently use the existing I-25 Express Lanes can use the new section for free during the testing period. Be advised that tolls are still being collected in the section from Denver to US 36 on the I-25 Express Lane.
  • If you are driving from the US 36 Express Lanes to the northbound North I-25 Express Lane, you must exit the US 36 Express Lanes and then re-enter the North I-25 Express Lanes at 84th Avenue.
  • Do not cross the solid white line; enter and exit at the designated areas only, shown with a white dotted line.
  • Travelers will be charged the toll price posted when they entered an Express Lane, except for the sections that have toll collection being waived during testing. If the price should increase or decrease while they are in the lane, drivers will pay the price posted upon entry.
  • Get a Pass! ExpressToll saves money each time. Go to www.expresstoll.com to get the pass that is right for you. The same ExpressToll passes (stickers or switchable transponders) that are used on CDOT’s Express Lanes on US 36, I-25 (existing), and I-70 Mountain, as well as E-470 and the Northwest Parkway will work on the North I-25 Express Lane.

CDOT and HPTE will host a telephone town hall on May 2, 7-8 p.m. to discuss the proposed toll rates for this corridor and how to use the Express Lanes. You can dial in at 877-229-8493 and enter PIN number 111457. For information on the new North I-25 Express Lanes and proposed toll rates, go to expresslanes.codot.gov.

North I-25 Express Lanes – Project Construction Continues Northward

Beginning spring 2016, CDOT will expand the North I-25 Express Lanes project north from its current endpoint near 120th with toll lanes built to the Northwest Parkway and E-470 connection, and mill and fill new asphalt surface extended to SH7.

Similar to the current North I-25 Express Lanes project, CDOT will construct express lanes in both northbound and southbound directions, replacing the center line barrier and widening lanes to the outside. The project will resurface the existing general purpose lanes and construct water quality features, noise walls, and add tolling equipment.  Grading, striping, landscaping, ITS and utility work are all part of the project elements. Construction will begin this spring (2016) and last through the summer of 2018.

Smart Commute applauds CDOT for moving the North I-25 Express Lanes project forward in collaboration with the local jurisdictions of the North Area Transportation Alliance (NATA). The project represents an additional transportation resource for smart commuters, who will benefit most by carpooling, vanpooling or taking transit on I-25.

Join Us at the 2016 Adams County Planet Party – Saturday, March 26th!

Mark Your Calendar for Bike to Work Day!

On Wednesday, June 22, join Smart Commute in celebrating Colorado’s Bike to Work Day with events throughout the north metro area. Bike to Work Day promotes cycling as an alternative to driving to work with hundreds of morning and afternoon “bike stations” and related events scattered throughout the metro area, providing food and fun for participating cyclists.

Join Smart Commute again this year; there’s plenty of opportunity to participate in 2016’s Bike to Work Day celebration.  Smart Commute, along with other transportation management organizations throughout the Denver metro region will be hosting numerous bike stations starting at 6:30 am, June 22nd, providing cyclists with free breakfast food and drink, giveaways and bike mechanics to help get your bike back on track.

The Denver Regional Council of Governments invites station organizers, company coordinators, event sponsors and everyone else interested in learning more about Bike to Work Day 2016 to an Open House on Tuesday, April 5th.  You’ll be provided with materials and hands-on expert assistance so that you’ll leave ready and excited for this year’s event. Be sure to register for this BTWD Open House at btwd@drcog.org.

Participant registration opens on May 1st at www.waytogo.org/biketowork.

SAVE THE DATE! June 29 Smart Commute’s 4th Annual Trans Forum!

On June 29th Smart Commute will hold its fourth annual Trans Forum Breakfast, bringing together the region’s leading transportation influencers to hear new perspectives and ideas in the world of transportation. This year our topic will be emerging transportation technologies and how they will impact future travel choices. We’re pleased to announce Rutt Bridges, author of Driverless Car Revolution will be the keynote speaker.  Stay tuned for more information about the event program coming out soon.

Commuting Information, Action and Advocacy

Smart Commute provides information about transportation improvements and priorities, education about mobility options, and provides incentive programs for giving ridesharing and transit a try. We work with employers to customize their employees commute options, staff info booths at community events and festivals, and provide speakers for service organizations interested in transportation updates.  Best of all, we are a free resource!

Contact karen.stuart@smartcommutemetronorth.org

Development at 144th / Route 8

If you’ve traveled near the intersection of 144th and I-25, you’ve noticed some changes in the neighborhood. From the recently-completed multi-family development north of The Orchard Town Center to the impressive new St. Anthony North Health Campus along with the  much anticipated  new retail stores  and hotels, the 144th and I-25 vicinity  is quickly becoming the next frontier  for urban development in the north metro area.

With all this development in mind, Smart Commute worked with our partners at RTD to expand the Route 8 bus to connect residents, shoppers and employees of the 144th and I-25 area to the Wagon Road Park-n-Ride, with express service into Denver and beyond. This spring, Smart Commute will host a “Ride the Route 8” event in association with our partners at 144th and I-25, where we will provide commuters two Free Ride Coupons to try the service yourself! Make sure you “like” our Facebook page to hear further details about this planned event!

Arriving April 22, 2016, the University of Colorado A Line will provide international connections with easy, affordable, and reliable service between downtown Denver and DIA. Six new Park-n-Rides will add more than 4,000 parking places for RTD riders. During peak hours service is every 15 minutes, non-peak service every 30 minutes.

Adios to Paul DesRocher

Sadly, Paul is leaving Smart Commute this month –riding off into the sunset to join RTD’s FastTrack’s Planning Team. We’re going to miss him. He’s been the smiling face you see at all our employer and outreach events, and the go- to person for up to date TDM programs and incentives for the past two years.  Congrats Paul, on your new position and best of luck with your new work adventure.  By the way, don’t forget to put in a good word for us up here in Smart Commute country whenever you can – we’re eager for the completion of our FasTracks N-Line to 162nd!