July 5, 2004

Denver Face-Off: Smart Growth Vs. Dumb Growth

"In one of only three successful all-volunteer petition drives in the state's history, volunteers have turned in more than 52,000 valid signatures to ensure that the Regional Transportation District's FasTracks plan will be on the Nov. 2 ballot in the seven-county metro region," writes the Denver Post's Bob Ewegen. "That means this fall's election will produce the long-awaited confrontation between Smart Growth and its smog-fueled evil twin, Dumb Growth."

FasTracks would build half a dozen new rail lines into Denver. It is supported both by the local business community as well as environmentalists, as one way to deal with predicted booming growth -- 900,000 new residents and more than half a million jobs in the next 15 years.

Ewegen wisely points out that whether or not Colorado grows is not entirely in its own hands. "[W]hat we can control is whether that growth is channeled wisely or whether it overwhelms and obliterates the special qualities that attracted so many of us to Colorado in the first place. . . .

"The legacy of dumb growth will be with us until the next ice age, when the glaciers scrape off the sprawl and allow our descendants to start all over."

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