Anyone who lives and drives in and around Denver knows how badly we need an updated road system to handle the increased traffic that daily snarls our commutes both to and from work. But until that happens we are stuck with driving the nightmare that is I-25. Up until a few years ago and the project known as T-Rex, it was a 4 lane nightmare to drive. While T-Rex added another lane going both north and south in some areas and added track to the train, it didn’t seem to help much with volume.
On the north side, we still do not have the train system up and running yet and while C-Dot has done some adding of lanes, it is still a nightmare to drive I-25 during the rush hours. There are ways to get around the worst spots, however.
One of the fastest ways is to take C470 east and south. It is still a toll road but the booths are closed now and they take pictures of your license plate as you zip along nicely at the 70 mph rate. No stopping anymore and traffic is very light. You may find yourself going a bit out of your way, traveling a ways out east, but you more than make up for it in time spent driving instead of sitting in traffic. Each toll stop is now about $3.50 each, and the tolls can add up if you don’t have a transponder for your car. They do offer a bit of a discount if you sign up for a transponder and the peace of mind you have instead of road rage is well worth it. No transponder, no problem. You will get a bill in the mail about 2-3 weeks later and you simply send in a check.
Another way to avoid I-25 and the headaches is to take Highway 287. If you live in Longmont, Niwot, or any of those areas it is very easy to do. 287 takes you down through Lafayette, Broomfield and into North Denver. It becomes old Wadsworth at about 120th and you can continue on from there or go east on 120th to either Sheridan or Federal and go south on either of those two main arteries and you will get into Denver from there. You do have stoplights and intersections to contend with and traffic is heavier too, but it is an alternate route when you don’t want to drive I-25.
We live in Firestone and Colorado Blvd goes all the way from our little town into Thornton. My mother refuses to drive I-25 unless it is absolutely necessary and she chooses this route all of the time to get her and her husband into Aurora and Denver. They drive Colorado Blvd as far down as 88th Ave, then go east and take Highway 85 south until they see the exit sign for Colorado Blvd again. It is less than a mile. From there, Colorado Blvd takes you into the heart of Denver and you can go anyplace you want. Slower yes, but you certainly avoid I-25.
Another route that is similar from our area is to take Highway 52 east to Highway 85. Go south on 85 through Brighton and down to I-76. You will drive on I-76 for only a couple of miles until you see the exit for Commerce City and Colorado Blvd. You will have to drive through Commerce City, again stopping at intersections and traffic lights, but it does avoid I-25 and the hazards involved with driving that nightmare. And again, ending up on Colorado Blvd gets you into the city and from there, anyplace you want to go.
The worst places on I-25 when you are driving on the north side of I-70 are usually around 84th, 104th, and 120th. People are trying to get over to reach their exits and everyone is jammed up. My advice would be for you people who know you need to get off in a couple of miles to please be in the right lane already and not cut everyone off as you make that mad dash over right as you reach the exit. We all hate you for that. But I digress. It you are headed north and want to miss these spots of horror, you can always take Washington street right from downtown all the way up to 120th. Or down, whichever way you are going. I don’t know how many of you might remember this, but a few years back we had a huge hole in the right and middle lane of northbound I-25 and I had to take an alternate route to get home and Washington was the street I took. It does take longer with intersections and traffic lights, but now days, with everyone stopped on I-25, who knows. You just might get home faster.
I’m sure everyone has their favorite ways to get home or to work that doesn’t include I-25. These are just a few of the ones I have taken. Hope this will help keep you safe and get you to work in a better frame of mind.