How to deal with Denver traffic, from irritating I-25 to the Sixth Avenue death trap

Categories: Breeality Bites

i25lorimidson.jpg
Lori Midson
Are we a big-enough city to have a 104-car pile-up?
While we may have those "300 days of sunshine" to brag about, Colorado is home to another weather cliché: the idea of "construction season." Yes, no matter the time of year, it seems that all of our major roadways are being worked on simultaneously, from the mess that is forever Colorado Boulevard to the never-ending crisis of I-25.

My driving style was once described as being of the "just get there at all costs" mentality; I'm definitely not someone you want to share the road with -- my road rage is an unbearable, expletive-laden experience for even the passengers in my car. But regardless, I thought I would share some tips on how to get around the city safely. With any luck, I'll take my own advice and make driving in Denver better for everyone involved.

See also: The pros and cons of using the a$$hole lane

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Westword.com

Beware: Speer Boulevard will never not have photo-radar vans parked alongside of it.
The city has to make an incredible amount of money in this part of town. Just as the Speer Speedway begins going northbound at University Boulebard and starts to slow down heading southbound from Downing Street, vans with cameras are sitting in this stretch's grassy median, ready and waiting to take your picture and your money. Though it seems like a spot where you could go at least 40 miles per hour, the posted speed limit is actually 30, which often surprises drivers.

When the car in front of you abruptly slows down and starts creeping along, heed the warning. Don't ride the ass of the automobile in front of you -- just do what they do and you'll save yourself $50 to $100 while not making other drivers sharing the road hate your guts. Or you can speed right on through like this guy, and intentionally get a speeding ticket so you can flip off the photo-radar van, and then join in the Yelp discussion debating whether these tickets are even legal.


Stop driving high.

I'm not playing into the reefer madness that claims that death can be a possible result of consuming edibles. I'm just saying, "Don't drive high." If you haven't been this person (or aren't aware that you have been this person), then you have certainly been behind them, that SUV creeping along Broadway going four miles per hour during rush hour. Not only could they push their car faster than they are driving it, they are exacerbating the situation by leaving their left turn signal on for twenty blocks, as you wait for a turn that will never be made.

Disclaimer: Federal Boulevard traffic always moves at this stoney pace, yet I am not convinced it has anything do with the dozens of pot shops along the strip between Alameda and Colfax. The slow, cruising speed of Federal is a time-honored tradition. Respect it.

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Courtesy of CDOT.
Oh, look. It's a photo of the horrific part of Sixth Avenue I have to drive on every day!
Sixth Avenue is totally fucked -- so please, be kind to other drivers.
I live in Barnum and I'm convinced that the city doesn't like my neighborhood, as it has trapped the residents by starting multiple construction projects that make it impossible to leave the area. The city knocked down the bridge at the end of my block on Knox Court that goes over Sixth Avenue, it has torn up Federal from First to Eighth Avenue, and if you've even tried to enter Sixth from the west side of town, forget about it. The janky lanes along this stretch of road are mini-death traps, as awareness-lacking cars often shooting out into speeding Sixth Avenue traffic.

Just know that since the season of construction will continue for several more generations of Coloradans, we need to be nicer to each other. As in, don't go seventy miles per hour in the slow lane, let other cars over when they have their blinker on for days just trying to get off the highway, and for real, don't tailgate. Be kind.


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37 comments
GFTW
GFTW

I-25 traffic usually sucks within 2 miles of I-225. And 470. And...

Julie Vicari
Julie Vicari

Denver traffic is not that hard. You're taking one situation and blowing it out of proportion.

Mediashakiba
Mediashakiba

I have one suggestion: If you're driving on the speed lane, There is no car in front of you and a traffic behind you probably you are driving on a wrong lane, please move to the right lane!!!

Traci Thompson
Traci Thompson

Lol this it's hilarious. I lived and drove L.A freeways for15 yrs and I -25 is a fucking shit show. I live on the west side if town and can say I rarely if ever cross over easy or south to avoid that cluster fuck of a freeway. Ugh.

Steve Paradise
Steve Paradise

I peg atlanta drivers for better drivers /which aint saying much can drive than these people out here are out of touch w/the road

Jeff Bordner Jr.
Jeff Bordner Jr.

How to deal with it, Step 1: Don't drive like a dipshit.

Ana Rose
Ana Rose

Denver has nothing on European driving!

Dana Jacobsen
Dana Jacobsen

Chicago traffic, now that is traffic. And I'm from California. But Denver's traffic, well, it seems to be getting worse and worse.

DarlingCR
DarlingCR

Love Colorado, Coloradans, and everything else.. But after living in NYC, NJ, FL, & RI, Colorado takes the cake for worst drivers... Don't take it personally.. 

Julie Diana Humbird
Julie Diana Humbird

horrific mix of distracted SUV drivers, careless work trucks full of men and the luxury cars zipping through like its a f*cking video game.

Quinn Sena
Quinn Sena

another good way is not going to peak hours or going at all :P

Nicholas Steven Engleman
Nicholas Steven Engleman

How is it blatantly obvious!? Going westbound on Ralston to turn right on to Wadsworth northbound. How do I know I can keep going when there is a red light? There is a crosswalk too in the middle of that turn. Also, eastbound on Ralston turning right onto Wadsworth you get a temporary right turn arrow. So you are implying that once the right green arrow stops, you can still keep going? That sounds like an easy ticket to me. So that right green arrow is completely useless. And ya because I stop at right turns, it makes me such a reckless driver.

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

Regarding the right turn merge lanes. You could try paying attention to where you're going and you'd notice these lanes before people get mad at you. Wadsworth and Bowles (and Ralston for that matter) if you are stopping to turn right there you don't know how to drive and/or don't know how to read the lanes. It's blatantly obvious, to put it nicely, that the lane continues. The right turn lanes from Wads northbound to Bowles and from Ralston on to northbound Wads don't even have a light for cryin' out loud! You sound like you need to learn how to read traffic lights and intersections. I suggest a remedial drivers ed course pronto. What would you need a green turn arrow there for?! Seriously, if those intersections are confusing to you I'd be afraid to be around you in another vehicle.

Jordan Nicole Montoya
Jordan Nicole Montoya

Just today I was driving in a merge lane (as far as possible like you're supposed to) and some douche decided to drive in both lanes to prevent people from continuing, forcing them to all merge behind him. Thankfully my car is small and I was able to go around him, ha.

Michael Roque
Michael Roque

Being from Southern California, I laugh at what they call traffic here...

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Time the traffic lights MUCH better.

Violizer87
Violizer87

Haha! Loved this. Gave me a great laugh. A lot of truth here!

Christine Alling
Christine Alling

Advice: Accelerate to the highway speed limit before merging into traffic.

Eric Matthews
Eric Matthews

Its called having fucking road etiquette. The drivers here are selfish. In the last 3 weeks I've had driver on Speer try to take a left turn after coming to a complete stop (in traffic that was going 40mph +) so she didn't miss her turn, she then went from the inside left lane, crossed over the outside left lane, just to make her turn. Talk about stupid. Then a couple weeks back I'm at a stop light outside left lane this time. All lanes filled. The guy on the inside left lane took an immediate left after the light turn green turning in front of me just to make his turn. How about if you miss your turn you go up to the next street to turn around like a polite mother fucker?

Ben Owens
Ben Owens

Not one mention of texters? I see more people texting while driving than not. Hang up and pay attention and actually TRY not to kill someone.... or yourself (the lack of self-preservation is mind boggling).

Kate Honas
Kate Honas

The people in the 6th Ave construction that honk at other drivers piss me off so much. First of all, where do you think you have to be so fast that you can't wait 15 seconds to let a car change lanes. You're probably just racing home to get in your sweatpants and sit in front of the TV all night. Secondly, do you not see that there are about 100 other people that are stuck in the construction as well, why do you think that you're the only one being inconvenienced? Assholes. Ok, I'm done.

Nicholas Steven Engleman
Nicholas Steven Engleman

One thing that drive me nuts about driving in the Denver region is at some right turn lanes, the lane keeps going after you turn and becomes a merge lane on the road you turned right on. (Empire & Courtesy Road, Wadsworth & Ralston, Wadsworth & Bowles to name a few). I tend to stop at those intersection because I am obeying the red light. If there is a driver behind me, 1 out of 4 times they will honk at me and throws hand gestures at me. If those right turn lanes are free flowing and don't need to obey the red light, then they need to have an automatic right turn green arrow on at all times (They do this in Chicago suburbia). Also, 6th Avenue is a heartache. They need to reconfigure the 6th Avenue/Wadsworth interchange once they take care of 25/6th avenue. Also, Interstate 70 from Colorado to Brighton needs updating too. If you get pulled over by a cop or get into a fender bender in the that part of the road, get off the highway! I expect the traffic to subtly decrease once all the light rails are installed.

Jonathan Nott
Jonathan Nott

Colorado license plates should also indicate where the driver is originally from.

Claudia Rico
Claudia Rico

Yeah it can be scary because most of these idiots can't drive! Lol

John Elliott
John Elliott

How about: Put your goddamned make up away! Put down your goddamned phone! Get your goddamned dog out of your lap! Strap your kids in and teach them how to goddamned behave in the car! Stay the hell out of your goddamned purse while you're driving! Drive the speed limit or stay out of the goddamned left lane! That's about 75% of the traffic problems solved right there...

esimmons2000
esimmons2000

I don't even have a cellphone, but if you're using yours, stay the hell out of the left lane. You know damn well you can't do 2 things at once. Never, have I seen it done. ( years of I-25 driving )

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