Denver, Fort Collins Ozone Scores Improve, but Still Rank on List of Worst 15 Cities in Country

Smog and haze obscure the Denver skyline as traffic moves north on I 25 near Thorton Parkway.

Ozone pollution has improved in both Denver and Fort Collins, but both cities are still among the 15 worst in the nation, the American Lung Association said.

The association’s 2017 clean air report released late Tuesday said Denver had the 11th-worst ozone levels and Fort Collins had the 15th-worst.

Last year, Denver was eighth and Fort Collins 10th.

Ozone can be harmful to people with respiratory problems and other vulnerable groups, including children and the elderly. People who are active outdoors can also suffer.

The report gave 12 Colorado counties a grade of D or F for the number of high ozone days. Ten of those counties are on the Front Range or in nearby foothills.

Denver and the northern Front Range have long struggled to meet federal ozone standards.

The American Lung Association said Colorado’s ozone problem has multiple causes, including vehicle exhaust, the oil and gas industry, trees, coal-burning power plants and weather conditions. Some of Colorado’s ozone drifts in from out of state.

Nationwide, ozone levels and year-round particle pollution have both declined since the association’s 2016 report, but short-term spikes in particulate pollution increased, the group said.

Denver’s short-term particulate pollution also worsened, the report said.

Colorado air quality officials said they were still reviewing the report but raised questions about some of the American Lung Association’s methods.

The report used data from 2013 to 2015 gathered from federal, tribal, state and county agencies. The association said that was the most recent verified data available.

Residents of most U.S. cities can breathe easier than people in some other parts of the world. Last August, Mexico City issued an alert after ozone levels hit more than 150 percent of acceptable levels. In December, Beijing issued a warning when particulate pollution reached more than 15 times the safe level.

Dawn Mullally, director of air quality and transportation for the American Lung Association in Colorado, said Denver has made great strides over several decades.

“We’ve come a long way since the smoggy days of the 1970s,” she said.

Mullally said regulations under the federal Clean Air Act shouldn’t be relaxed.

“This is the air we breathe. We must protect it,” she said.

I-70 Reimagined

We’ve reached an important crossroads regarding the future of Colorado highway transportation. Diverging paths lead to different destinations.

Our elected leaders urge widening I-70, creating a huge traffic canyon gouged into the low-income North Denver ethnic minority communities of Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea. To protect this planned 40-foot-deep, the 23-lane-equivalent section of I-70 from flooding, CDOT has paid the city of Denver millions for the ‘Platte-to-Park Hill’ drainage project.

The project would repurpose historic City Park Golf Course as a drainage sump; dig a deep, wide concrete-lined culvert through the middle of the historic (low-income, minority) Cole neighborhood; and dump all the accumulated, polluted runoff through a massively expanded stormwater outfall at Globeville Landing into the Platte River, wiping out the neighborhood’s only riverside park.

The project creates new catastrophic flooding potential in the Globeville neighborhood. Denver is now excavating a highly toxic Superfund site just upstream from where Adams County draws some drinking water. Flooding could wash lead, arsenic, and cadmium from the highly toxic site into the Platte River.

Perhaps the most serious health risks come not from below, but from above. In the mid-20th century, Denver and CDOT built urban freeways through the heart of low-income ethnic minority inner city neighborhoods instead of routing them around city peripheries, as intended in the original Federal Highway Act. In transportation policy circles, this is referred to as following the geographic course of political least resistance.

This is exactly what happened in North Denver. The environmental health effects have been devastating. For the last half-century, these neighborhoods have suffered the worst urban air pollution in the country. As assessed by Denver’s own Department of Environmental Health, childhood asthma rates are 40% above all other Denver neighborhoods, and rates of congestive heart disease are 70% higher. Both life-shortening pathologies are directly linked to highway traffic exhaust. Now Denver and CDOT plan to make conditions worse by doubling the volume of I-70 traffic through these neighborhoods.

Beyond the extensive environmental damage and human health harm, this proposed path also raises serious questions of regional and fiscal equity throughout the state of Colorado. Half of the funding CDOT has set aside for bridge maintenance and repair throughout our state’s compromised rural highway infrastructure is now slated for Central 70.

Further—even with the federal highway construction funds promised if the I-70 project is not found to be in violation of the federal Clean Air Act—CDOT doesn’t have enough funding to complete the project. Colorado taxpayers may soon be asked to pay for all the long-overdue highway improvement projects on CDOT’s wish list.

The list will have many projects around the state that deserve public support; however, Central 70 is not deserving. Former Denver City Auditor Dennis Gallagher calls it a “billion-dollar boondoggle.” CDOT could achieve the same regional surface transportation objectives with far less funding, far less environmental damage, and far less harm to the health of nearby residents if it simply chose the beltway bypass expansion option: I-76/I-270. CDOT already owns the right-of-way, far fewer people would be displaced, and there’d be far less environmental health harm. Denver could remove the I-70 viaduct and replace it with a beautiful parkway.

Many governments have recognized as gross environmental injustices 1960s-era urban freeways; they’re ripping them out and healing the afflicted neighborhoods. That is what we propose to do here. We should heal social and architectural wounds as has been done in San Francisco, Seattle, and many other cities globally.

The rest of Colorado shouldn’t have to pay for the billion-dollar boondoggle, and North Denver residents shouldn’t have to continue to breathe the country’s most toxic air. Surface transportation should promote greener, healthier neighborhoods, and should more fairly and cost-effectively expend precious public funds.

Lloyd Burton recently retired as Professor and Founding Director of the program concentration in Environmental Policy, Management, and Law at the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado – Denver. He is a member of EPA’s Citizens’ Advisory Group regarding the Superfund risks written about in this piece and serves on the Transportation Committee of the Colorado Sierra Club.

With contributions by Joe Boven On January 19 The Federal Highway Administration approved the Central 70 project. The Record of Decision allows the Colorado Department of Transportation to begin construction of the new highway in 2018. Many activists and concerned citizens are on a quest for justice with plans to sue CDOT, the EPA and … Continue reading

In this article, we will discuss the history of Denver, Colorado. In the summer of 1858 during the Gold Rush, a prospector named Lawrence Kansas established Montana City. Along the South Platte River in the Western Kansas territory, the first settlement was made. The area quickly grew during the Gold Rush, bringing many prospectors into it. On November 22nd, 1858, the bluff was claimed that overlooks the South Plateau River and turned into a mining settlement. Later the Colorado territory was formed in February, and Denver was incorporated later on November 7th, 1861.

Between the year of 1880 and 1895, the city experienced a large raise in the crime rate, as mob bosses were born and officials were elected to combat these huge crime rings. Gambling, stealing, and other illegal activity flooded this area during this time. Sometime after that, the government got control of this growth in crime and the crime rate seemed to drop to a normal level.

Denver, Colorado overlooks the Rocky Mountains which brought an influx of income due to the tourist attraction that was these beautiful mountains. Later in the 20th century, Denver, Colorado continued to grow as a city, and became known as the state’s capital. In the year of 1976 Denver was chosen to host the Winter Olympics, but in November of 1972 Colorado’s pole struck down the ballot and public funds to pay for the high cost of the games.

In conclusion, Denver, Colorado is deeply ingrained with lots of history. If you would like to learn more about the history of this great city, we suggest venturing online and completing a little bit of research. This will give you a better understanding of the rich culture Denver, Colorado holds and the fun historical significance it bears.

If you have never been to the Mild High city before, you should definitely plan a trip. Denver is a beautiful location. People sometimes traveled to this area if they want to go skiing, hiking, or if they simply want to enjoy the botanical gardens and museums that are in the area. It’s one of these locations that you will definitely enjoy. You will be able to see Union Station, and also catch a game that Coors Field. However, if you are flying from out of state, or even if you are in a different country, you are going to need to fly to Denver.

How To Save Money On Your Trip?

The cost of a Hotel Room can be Quite High, but so also can be the flight. Some flights will cost in between $700 and $2000, depending upon where you are coming from and whether you are flying first class or coach. Most people know that if you book a flight along with the hotel, you will save quite a bit of money. In some cases, the cost of an individual flight, and the cost of a flight and hotel, will be about the same. Package deals are always available, and you can find these on travel websites where they are presenting them every day. Certain times of the year will afford you better deals, so you should plan your trip accordingly.

Special Discounts And Frequent Flyer Miles

People that actually use credit cards to build up frequent flyer miles can often use these for a free flight. You have to have enough to qualify, something that could take six months to a year. Special discounts are also available, outside of the package deals, making the flights extremely affordable. These discounts tend to come during the off-season when they are trying to attract as many people to Denver as possible. You might want to subscribe to different newsletters where special offers on flights are provided on an almost daily basis. Either way, you are going to find a way to fly to Denver, and save a considerable amount of money, so that you will have more to spend once you arrive at the city.

From Denver, you can travel to other cities in Colorado. You might also want to plan different activities like a hiking trip, or simply go skiing why you are there. Regardless of when you go, or what you decide to do, you can save money on your flight by using these travel websites that often have some of the best discounts on the Internet.

Most people have heard of the Mile High City, otherwise known as Denver. Located in the state of Colorado, that is how most people have heard of it. However, they may have never been there. If you don’t go, you really don’t know what you are missing. There are so many things that you can do, and once you have Found the Cheapest Flight, and accommodations, you should definitely plan a trip for at least a week. This is what you will be able to do once you reach Denver CO on your next vacation.

What Is There To Do In The City?

There are quite a few things that you will be able to do when you get to Denver. If you are a fan of going to a zoo, the Denver Zoo is one of the best. It is perfect for people that just like to see animals, and if you have children, this is going to be the perfect place for them to spend a couple of hours. Once you have seen the animals, you might want to go see fish. The Downtown Aquarium is the next place to go. Again, it is the right place to go if you are bringing children with you, however adults will also like this destination.

Landmarks To See

Although you could do fun things like go skiing, hiking, or go for a run in the park, you might want to consider looking at some of the landmarks that have made Denver so popular. There is the famous Union Station and also the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception which is a church that Catholics absolutely love. Even if you are not religious, it is a place that you will definitely enjoy because of how well-designed the building is. There is the Molly Brown House Museum which is of historic value. There are other destinations to see. If you are spending at least a week or two, you can fit all of this in, plus plan many other trips as well. You would never like to miss amazing Denver Fashion Show.

The places that you decide to go in Denver should be part of your itinerary. You will want to mix things up, and if you are only there for a week, you will want to plan accordingly. There are always going to be places to go shopping, great places to eat, and sightseeing tours that you will enjoy. The Mile High City is a place that many people will visit multiple times in their life because of all that it has to offer tourists and the general public.

Denver restaurants could be covered over multiple articles. There are currently 2,408 of them to be exact, so let’s grab seven of some of the top restaurants that have unique names. You know what to expect from some restaurants driving by, but sometimes the building and especially the name might not give it away. Especially for out of towners, it is going to help knowing what some of those restaurants serve. While in Denver, it’s unique restaurant names that are going to grab your attention anyway. Here are seven featured restaurants that make the cut.

Let’s begin with Euclid Hall on 14th street. You might recognize the first dish mentioned, but see if you recognize some of the others. The first dish is chicken and waffles, which is a popular pop culture favorite in America and a good reason to go already. Then you have other dishes that Euclid Hall is known for like Pad Thai Pig Ears and Duck Poutine. One reviewer that has been there several times and likes the place calls it an Eastern European pub type place and atmosphere.

Izakaya Den sounds like a cool place don’t you think? But then again, it’s one of those places that you can’t quite figure out what to expect. Izakaya Den serves up Japanese cuisine, including sushi, and it is located on Pearl Street. That is teo Great and Unique Interesting Restaurants so far, but let’s get to looking at the rest.

There are five more to go, so let’s narrow it down by introducing two more, Acorn and Linger. First let’s look at Acorn, which is located on Brighton Boulevard. The menu there includes shrimp and grits, short ribs and butterscotch pudding. Of course there is much more than that, but let’s look now at Linger, which is located on West 30th avenue. It’s a great contemporary spot that serves up delicious sliders and more and is said to be brunch friendly.

There are three more Denver, Colorado restaurants, and the first two are True Food Kitchen and Ophelia’s. At Ophelia’s, which is located on 20th street, one of the highlights is the cornbread. When you hear the bread is special at a restaurant, doesn’t it make you want to go? True Food Kitchen is a hot spot on 2nd avenue whose menu really can’t be explained in a sentence or two. Hey, you are going for unique here, and now for the 7th Denver restaurant, which is The Delectable Egg. It obviously serves up breakfast but what a name.

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