Joe from Golden writes, “What is driving you crazy? Now can you explain why there is no interchange from US 6/6th Avenue to I70 East? (The corresponding conspiracy theory I've heard for years is that Stevinson blocked that idea so that motorists would need to drive by his dealerships on Indiana and Colfax in order to get to the I-70E on ramp on Colfax.) Thanks.”
Let me start Joe with saying, I love a good conspiracy theory. There are so many conspiracies about DIA that it seems like one of them would have to have a nugget of truth. As far as a dealership conspiracy, both Kent Stevenson and CDOT tell me emphatically there is no conspiracy to why you can’t get on eastbound 70 from 6th Ave.
When I talked to Kent Stevenson, President of Stevenson Automotive, his first reaction was, “You’re kidding me right?”
In fact Kent told me he has never heard of this conspiracy theory. “CDOT controls all of those roads so we would not have any influence over any sort of where any of the roads go. It’s their choice where they have on ramps and off ramps go,” said Stevenson.
The Stevenson dealership moved from its original downtown Golden Ford Street location to its current location on Indiana Ave at 6th Ave in 1973.
CDOT agrees that there isn’t any validity to the conspiracy theory. They tell me it is just an “unfavorable benefit cost ratio”. “While it is certainly physically possible to build such a ramp network, there are other more pressing priorities for CDOT's limited resources,” said Stacia Sellers, CDOT Region 1 Communications Specialist.
CDOT recently looked at the feasibility of building a ramp but found that the cost to build it, the lack of money to take on new projects and the number of drivers predicted to use the ramp don’t make it worth the effort right now.
“We recognize that there is public concern about this area. What we found is that the fraction of cars that choose to head west on 6th Avenue, and then want to perform a "figurative" U-turn onto I-70 and head east is very low,” said Sellers.
Kent Stevenson did tell me that if he could influence CDOT into rerouting traffic he would have them do it less subtly. “I would think it would give them (conspiracy theorists) more credence if CDOT had the road go right through my dealership. They could stop and I could say hello to everybody”.
There is another easy way to make the transition from westbound 6th Ave to eastbound I-70 if you don’t like going past the dealerships. Just continue on westbound 6th Ave to Colfax. Make a right turn there and then join eastbound I-70 just down the road.
Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 20 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast.