Anyone the least bit interested in urban sprawl and the future of transportation planning in our fair country should hit the highways early tonight and get home in time to catch the 7 p.m. showing of Blueprint America: Road to the Future.
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The PBS series on transportation infrastructure in the U.S. focuses on three different cities -- New York, Portland and Denver -- and the different choices each one has made in terms of transit, highways and general people-moving. A few months back, producers for the New York-based show called up a few writers from Westword to get the quick-and-dirty on transportation and housing growth in the Mighty Mile. We talked about the good (huge investment in transit and urban infill), the bad (continued breakneck sprawl in Arapaho, Douglas and Weld counties), and the ugly (the proposed Jefferson Parkway toll road.)
So it is pleasing that the efforts to complete the beltway through Jefferson County apparently make a big cameo in tonight's show, as does former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm. According to the New York Times, there are also plenty of bird's-eye shots of Denver's ever-growing sprawl sure to horrify all the east and west coasters so proud of their compact cities.
Hey, at least we're trying hard, which is probably why Denver was featured over, say, Phoenix or Salt Lake City. Hooray for the future!