The Jefferson Toll Road (Beltway) has been an idea pushed by developers for 30 years. Jefferson County residents voted this road down as a public highway back in 1989 by a wide margin based on a dislike for an increase in taxes to pay for the road, and the concern over Plutonium at Rocky Flats . During the Gov. Bill Owens era, the state tried to build this road as a public highway, but professionally acclaimed studies showed no need for the road, instead recommend ing improving existing roads SH 93, 72 and 128. The majority of the land in this area is undevelopable, with the exception of a few small areas. The idea that this connection would provide a regional benefit is also untrue, and has never been justified by professionally data. In fact, the beltway will only reduce traffic on Wadsworth by 3%. The real motivation to build this road is to subsidize development and sprawl in Arvada. Gov. Bill Ritter decided to kill this project, forcing Jefferson County Commissioners, Arvada and Broomfield to pursue financing from the private bond market, which has many serious consequences While there has been much debate about the sprawl this road will bring, one issue looms as the primary objection – Plutonium at Rocky Flats where a potion of the road would be built (see map below). Independent testing has shown possible contamination. Citizens are beginning to speak more forcefully about this health threat. Read info about Rocky Flats is available throughout this site.
• Early in 2011, Golden was offered a deal by toll road proponents that included road planning, and the "promise" of money to fund one or two projects. This deal was viewed by most people as inappropriate, and was rejected by residents. City council decided to abandon this specific proposal, and pursue a much stronger, three pronged strategy. First, the city will move forward with a lawsuit that keeps the pressure on toll road proponents, and act as a best, last resort if the city decides to sue. Second, the city will move forward with negotiations, but pursue a much more ambitious agreement. Third, Golden has made a proposal to Fish & Wildlife to purchase a 300' strip of land along the east side of Rocky Flats for a bike path, and includes improvements to Indiana/McIntyre. Golden's "Bikeway" will have much less impact on Rocky Flats, which is a primary consideration by the feds, and the city is offering the federal government $200,000 more for the land than offered by the tolling authority. The proposal also seeks to widen a major north-south arterial, Indiana St. for better traffic mobility. The federal government now needs to weigh two competing proposals. Golden's plan for a bike path is far superior to a foreign-controlled toll road that is not needed or wanted by anyone except developer interest. Elected officials should get on board with Golden's Bikeway to best serve the public's interest.
• The Villages at Mountain Ridge Homeowners Association, a 296 home community in Golden, developed its own position statement on the toll road Click Here to read their official position. The statement was given to the City of Golden and “raises the bar” to ensure Golden and this community are protected. Other HOAs are encouraged to develop their own position to protect property values.
• Boulder has decided to accept the deal ( “ bribe” ) offered by Jefferson County Commissioners to not oppose the toll road, and accept $4M to buy open land at Rocky Flats to be used as a wildlife corridor. While we appreciate more open land, Boulder’s decision is quite disappointing and calls into question their wisdom. However, the Town of Superior remains strongly active in opposing the toll road.
• Toll road proponents plan to construct a portion of the road on the east side of Rocky Flats, regardless of possibility that small particles of Plutonium exist on the top soil. These particles could spread in the wind and become a health threat if a road is built on this land.
• This past April, 2011, CINQ in partner ed with Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center to hold a meeting at Standley Lake Library in Arvada to bring awareness to the most impacted residents. Speakers included LeRoy Moore, Harvey Nichols, Rep. Wes McKinley, Rep. Gwyn Green and Jim Smith . Over 100 people attended the meeting in Arvada and dozens of email addresses and signatures were collected on a petition to Fish & Wildlife asking the government to conduct testing at Rocky Flats. Sadly, not one representative from the City of Arvada attended the meeting. CINQ is planning more meetings throughout Jefferson County this year.
• SIGN THE PETITION demanding that U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service not make land available for the a right-of-way for the proposed Jefferson toll road until it has done an Environmental Impact Statement including proper testing to determine impacts on the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, and impacts on residents. Go to www.GoTheBetterWay.org and click the petition on the top left.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Forward this web site to your neighbors and friends
- Sign the Petition to Fish & Wildlife demanding testing at Rocky Flats. www.GoTheBetterWay.org
- Write your city council and tell them to protect our community
Golden - email@example.com
Arvada - firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Make a donation to CINQ. Donate on-line on the home page at www.gothebetterway.org or mail a check to: CINQ, P.O. Box 715, Golden, CO 80402-0715
Map of proposed beltway toll road through Arvada (click to enlarge)
The concerns over the beltway are many. As tax payers, we should be concerned that the funding source are bonds backed by securitized mortgages, CDOs and other opaque and financial instruments that have left other municipalities and governments and taxpayers on the hook for bailouts. This form of financing is a house of cards.
However, it has become apparent to me that maintaining a safe image of Rocky Flats (RF) is a keystone in Arvada’s development plans, of which the beltway toll road is an integral part.
For those unaware of Rocky Flats, this area made plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons for years. The area is located in northwest Jeffco, and its “ground zero” for development as the beltway passed along the eastern edge. (see above for map). While the federal government tried to clean up Rocky Flats and call it a “wildlife refuge”, it is highly likely that plutonium and other very hazardous materials remain in the ground, and may eventually threaten public health as particles become air-borne. Only a very small particle of plutonium can be inhaled and cause illness or death. While only sketchy data confirms a potential problem, the federal government refuses to provide on-going air and soil testing, and private testing has been denied. The viability of Arvada’s development and the beltway are contingent on the illusion that Rocky Flats is “safe.”
The most troubling issue is that Rocky Flats will eventually be opened for public hiking, picnicking, school tours, etc. There has been efforts to pass legislation that would require warning signs around the parameter of RF, but these efforts have been opposed by Arvada and the CO Health Department – (to maintain the illusion of “safe”). Today, I spoke to Dr. Johnson, head of the Jefferson County Health Department, and he voiced his concerns about RF. The county has been told by the state health department to stay out of this matter. The previous head of the county health department was fired several years ago for voicing his concern over RF.
Our goal is to stop the beltway. While there are many options, building public awareness of the dangers at Rocky Flats may be the single best option. This approach has the potential to devalue land, and bring pause to investors.
How You Can Help
There is a group of dedicated people at the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, including several scientists who have been active on Rocky Flats for many years. They are well organized and qualified, however they need funding to increase public awareness. PLEASE consider making a donation. CINQ recently made a $1,000 donation to this group to help with independent soil testing on the parameters of the Rocky Flats. I urge you to also make a donation. To donate on line by credit card, go to http://www.rmpjc.org/ & click on the "Donate Now" button in the right column. In "Designation" box, type "for Rocky Flats."
For more information, please read the following correspondence from LeRoy Moore, Ph.D. of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center.
Alert for Rocky Flats Activists
Letter from LeRoy Moore to the EPA 3/5/2010
Letter from LeRoy Moore to the EPA 3/11/2010
Response from the EPA
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
CINQ needs your financial support!
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