9:14am

Tue August 14, 2012
Traffic

Are Ziplines The New Bane Of I-70 Traffic?

Not content with just trapping London's mayor while he showed off during the Olympics, ziplines may be looking to snag another in their web: weekend travelers on I-70.

London Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson if you remember, got stuck on zipline while soaring with Union Jacks in each hand to promote Olympic events. It seems that ziplines have our attention.

That appeal is apparently causing some ‘rubber-necking’ on I-70 here in Colorado.

As The Denver Post reports, the zipline towers over Clear Creek between Dumont and Idaho Springs may be causing slowing weekend traffic according to CDOT. The Post further writes:

CDOT compared travel times from July and August 2011 with the same times this year and found commuting lags in some instances.

On Sunday, July 31, 2011, at 1 p.m., it took 31 minutes to get from Georgetown to Idaho Springs, and the average speed was 24 mph. On Sunday, July 29, 2012, at 1 p.m., thatsame trip — when the zipline was operating — took 44 minutes with an average speed of 16 mph, according to CDOT.

Credit CDOT Facebook page / Colorado Department of Transportation

Traffic snarls are nothing new along I-70, both in the summer and the winter. Numerous plans and studies have been undertaken to address the issue, but nothing concrete has been done.

This has led to typical warnings on the weekends of heavy traffic, CDOT posted this picture and such a warning this past weekend on their Facebook page.

We are expecting heavy traffic volumes again on eastbound I-70 from Silverthorne this coming Sunday. We know a lot of you know the drill, but for those who don't, you can avoid the forecasted two-plus hour delays by traveling before 1 p.m. or after 6 p.m.!

When The Denver Post asked the owner of the zipline about the traffic, he responded he didn’t think that the attraction was the culprit. As the Post quotes:

"It could be that they haven't widened I-70 in 20 years — that could also have something to do with it," (John) Cantamessa said.

In the interest of hopefully easing traffic, here’s a video posted by Mike John of the zipline. Watch it as many times as you have to. Quench the appeal of looking at it when you're driving on I-70. At least until the next time someone gets stuck on a zipline.

That’s always fun to look at.