Temporary "zipper lane" might ease I-70 traffic hell

So CDOT was metering again yesterday, and  I-70 again predictably turned into a parking lot at the tunnel, ending many a getaway with an interminably slow slog back to Denver. Critics are not too happy about the practice, claiming it turns a three-hour drive into a five-hour drive for no good reason.

But a solution could arrive quicker than anticipated: The Denver Post reports today that the Colorado legislature is looking at an emergency bill that would turn one westbound lane of I-70 into an eastbound lane at peak travel times.

Apparently these so-called "zipper lanes" are in use all over the world, and could solve some of the traffic issues until a permanent fix -- be it a monorail or jetpack rentals.

The Post's Jessica Fender writes:

Movable concrete barriers would divide a section of westbound Interstate 70 on weekend afternoons, temporarily rededicating the inside lane to eastbound traffic along one of the roadway's most snarled segments.

The lawmakers pushing the plan estimate that the extra eastbound lane could halve drive times over the affected stretch, though others worry about the safety and feasibility of using the system on steep, wintry roads.

Sounds like an oddly pragmatic solution, especially considering how long this problem has festered. But what does the peanut gallery think?

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Eric Peterson