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US 285 traffic grows, and grows, and …

Brief by Central Staff

Transportation – February 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

285 Traffic Grows, and Grows, and …

If it seems to you that traffic is getting thicker on U.S. 285 as you get closer to civilization, you can take consolation in one fact — the Colorado Department of Transportation agrees.

Every year, CDOT takes traffic counts for a 24-hour period at specified locations. One of them is near Aspen Park on the east end of Park County.

In 1995, that part of the road carried 16,200 vehicles in a day. In 1996, it was up to 17,400, an increase of 7.5% in only a year.

The department is currently using the numbers to determine what sort of intersections should be built when the four-laning of 285 is extended toward us.

The first such count, the Fairplay Flume reports, was conducted in 1974. Then, there were 6,700 vehicles, and highway officials predicted that traffic would grow by 50% in the next 20 years. Instead, it grew by 140%.

Which makes us wonder about the validity of all these 10- and 20-year plans people keep fabricating.