Sierra Club labels Jefferson Parkway one of the worst projects in country

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Cabinet members Ken Salazar and Ray LaHood were at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal last week, announcing a deal that adds 1,200 acres to the Rocky Flats wildlife refuge and stretches the Rocky Mountain Greenway. But some weren't celebrating the announcement.

Among them: The towns of Superior and Golden, which had sued to stop a swap of property on the east side of Rocky Flats. And environmental groups, which had done the same.

The Sierra Club's Rocky Mountain Chapter yesterday said that it had serious concerns about the proposed $813-million Jefferson Parkway. It's slated to go through a right-of-way on the right side of Rocky Flats, which was traded to the Jefferson County Public Highway Authority in the deal celebrated last week.

"Any transportation infrastructure built today will be with us for decades," says Bill Roettker, the chapter's transportation specialist. "Jefferson Parkway is an example of infrastructure that will not meet the transportation needs of our citizens. It will keep us shackled to the pump and it should not be part of a 21st century transportation system for our community."

Beyond the cost of fuel and the fact that commuters are looking for alternative means of transport, there's also the fact that the parkway would stir up polluted ground on the side of Rocky Flats. And even if those objections weren't enough, environmentalists point out, the tollway wouldn't link up all points of the beltway, in any case.

The Sierra Club so dislikes the Jefferson Parkway project that it's featured in its new report, "Smart Choices, Less Traffic: 50 Best and Worst Transportation Projects in the United States." Read the complete Sierra Club report here.

From our archives: "Will the proposed Jefferson Parkway take commuters for a ride?"

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