Colorado just celebrated 303 day on March 3, but many residents are not seeing much reason to celebrate. "Grouchy, longtime" Denverite Kelly Fitzpatrick recently sent this response to "newcomers who tell those of us who've lived here most of our lives to 'just deal with it...'"
Denver used to be known as the "Queen of the Rockies". It has, over the last twenty years, evolved into the "Whore of the Rockies." I have lived here 50 of my 59 years and I am looking to get OUT, as, I am sure, will many other decent people who've lived here for many years. Denver used to be a great place to live! Congratulations to the "Powers that Be" on making the Front Range a mecca for businesses and increasing commercial revenue. But at what cost?
I have witnessed a huge increase in population and a decrease in livability. Crime has increased 44 percent (at last count) over the past few years; increased violent crimes such as carjackings, shootings, stabbings, smash and grabs, etc. There's no such thing as sustainable development, either; building is taking place on any vacant lot within city limits. Look at the monstrosities being built, too! Have you driven past the Lowry neighborhood recently? Large, blocky, ugly homes with barely a yard of space between them! NO affordable housing in decent areas of town, either. With the average price of one-bedroom apartments anywhere in the metro area at $1,500 per month, and the fact that most places won't even rent unless you make three times the amount of the rent...one would have to earn $28.15 per hour just to afford an apartment.
A few months ago, I saw a news segment that reported Denver ranked #1 in the nation for where people hated going to work. Perhaps it's because one's work day starts and ends with a terrible commute! Aside from the terrible road conditions, which never seem to improve, regardless of how much revenue comes into the state, the highways, light rail trains, buses, and central arterial streets are all packed during rush hour (which lasts anywhere from 6:45 to 9:30 a.m. and again from 2 to 7 p.m.). I drive approximately a mile and a half each morning from my house to the RTD park-and-ride. Within that distance it seems every third car has an out-of-state license plat,e and they aren't all here just to ski.
Or perhaps it's because the salary ranges for most jobs have not kept pace with the increasing cost of living here. Or maybe they hate going to work because there are so many people moving here with similar skill sets, employers don't have to treat their employees well because there's always another body to fill a position. And forget going to a park, a bike trail or a hiking trail anywhere close to city limits to spend some leisure time...you might as well go to a mall because they are all packed with people. If I had wanted to live in Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles, I would have chosen to settle in one of those cities. So, I will be leaving the Denver metro area and perhaps even the state of Colorado to find a place with a higher quality of life: Not by choice, but because I, and other long-time residents, are being "squeezed" out.
What do you think of this "grouchy," longtime resident's thoughts? Westword occasionally publishes comments and op-eds from readers. Send them to email@example.com.