Improve transportation in Colorado

So the traffic in Denver is pretty horrible. I drove from the northern suburbs today to the Denver Tech Center.
I knew that drive was bad, but it is horrible. But it wasn’t as bad as the drive back north.

Coming back home at four, it was stop and go from Dry Creek through 6th Avenue. I don’t know how people do this each day.

Until this state starts taking transportation seriously the economy in this state will not grow as fast as it could. This is especially true in the north I-25 and US 36 corridor where RTD promised light rail/train by 2017 and who knows if or when we’ll get it.

Disappointed Frontier Airlines is dropping service to Sacramento

I extremely disappointed that Frontier Airlines is dropping service to Sacramento. It is the best airline to fly into Northern California and not fly into the Bay Area.
I’m not sure who is making the decisions at Frontier but this was a poor one.

For the last two years they have been jerking things around. Flying the Embraer instead of the Airbus, changing the times so they aren’t convenient and then cutting the flights.

However, people still flew them. The flights I, my family and friends would take to Sacramento would be full, if not oversold.

It seems that Frontier was doing something to cook the books to make this route not profitable.

I hope the reconsider and bring back the flights but I doubt that will happen. I’ll have to see if we still fly them to northern California now into San Francisco or see if I need to fly another airline.

Not happy Frontier!

I don’t know what to think of TSA

I just don’t know what to think of the transportation security administration. I travel a fair bit and have run into some nice agents who’ve been helpful, but more than not I’ve run into those that aren’t nice at all. Today was one of those days.
As I mentioned I travel a fair bit and I never take off my belt to go through security. Today a TSA agent was yelling at me to take off my belt before going through the metal detector.

I’ve never taken it off before, it’s never set off the alarm. Why do I have to take it off?

The only thing I can think of it is the security theater of the TSA. While we haven’t had an attack since they were formed, the process we go through is nothing more than a show.

If we are going to have security, let’s get serious about it. Otherwise let’s stop the show.

Don’t put two iPads in one bag …

Well don’t try to travel with two iPads and expect TSA not to freak out if you leave them in your bag. I did that tonight and they had to send my bag back through with those removed.
I usually just travel with one iPad for work but in this trip I have our family iPad also because the kids and I are heading out on a spring break trip. I need the one iPad for me and the other one to keep the kids entertained.

Well when I put my bag through they couldn’t see through it even though you don’t usually need to take it out.

The TSA agent was nice and got them through the scanner again and there were no problems.

I guess on our way back I need to pull them out so we don’t have any delays.

RTD has a long way to go to serve the citizens of Denver

After fare increase, RTD not seeing ridership bump amid high gas prices – The Denver Post.
RTD is clueless how to run a metropolitan transportation system. You can see this by comparing it to other major cities ridership during this time of increased gas prices.

From January 2010 to January 2011, ridership was down 2.5 percent. But ridership was up 10 percent in Philadelphia; a 19 percent increase in Tampa Bay; and 22.8 percent increase in Raleigh N.C. area.

Why?

Because their routes are horrible and they have been incompetent in how they are building out FasTracks.

RTD is focused on using the hub and spoke system that the planners used to build the roads and highways in this fair city. But what if you want to go from one spoke to another? You are out of luck unless you want to take a bus that will take twice as long than driving it.

Why not run some routes from spoke-to-spoke? For example, why not run an express or a route with minimal stops from Wagon Wheel to Cold Spring? There is a route from the Westminster P&R to Cold Spring, but it takes over an hour to ride the bus when you can drive it in 20 minutes. That is a failure.

If you want to get people to take rapid transit, you have to make it convenient for them and make the trip comparable or quicker than driving it.

One of the big issues is the light rail system. The light rail system has been built out to the south metro area. In conjunction, CDOT built out Interstate 25 to accommodate the traffic.

Well if you can drive something quicker than taking the light rail or bus, then why take it?

If you look to where the worst traffic jams in the Denver Metro area are they are to the west (6th avenue) and the north (Interstate 25). I think the north part of Interstate is horrible, especially between 120th and 84th. Sometimes it is completely jammed from 120th to downtown.

What is RTD’s solution? The put buses in that traffic with the cars. It doesn’t save the rider time or patience? If they wanted to solve that problem, the northbound FasTrack before they considered doing the line to Arvada.

I doubt we will ever see the northern light rail line as planned to 160th. RTD wants to pass a tax increase because they sold us on a plan that they couldn’t manage. The south and west metro areas have light rail, why would they vote on an increase in taxes to complete work on the northern and northwest lines?

I don’t see it passing despite my desire to have the lines built out so my commute can be easier.

I travel to many metro areas in this country and all great cities have a great public transportation system. They make it easy to understand and get around.

Denver deserves a great transportation system, they just have a long way to go until they get there.

Problem with being on the east coast

The problem with being on the east coast is adjusting to the time difference. From Denver, it’s only 2 hours. But it’s a long 2 hours.
It’s almost midnight right now and the pub is closing in the hotel but there are still west coast games going on. Plus, I’m not even tired.

The good thing is that I don’t have any thing in the morning. This is different from my other trips here where I have to get up early to get into our office.

I can take it easy and possibly go for a nice walk around DC before the conference gets going at 1.

If you didn’t know, I’m in DC for the 2010 PRSA International Conference. It’s looking to be a great conference with over 3,000 participants. I’m a little disappointed in the keynote speakers, but thworkshops look really good.

More soon!

Don’t Stay at the Fairfield Marriott on Paradise in Las Vegas

I like to stay at Marriott’s across the country. They usually do a good job.
But the Fairfield Marriott on Paradise is not good for business or leisure travelers.

In Las Vegas, it begins with the air conditioners and this hotels can’t keep up. Our first room it was barely working so we moved and it was working a little better.

We left the room for a couple hours hoping it would catch up, but alas it didn’t. I spoke with the front desk and they blammed it on the heat.

Well that is why we want the air conditoners to work. It was actually cooler in the hallways than in the room.

There was a refridgerator in the room, but it barely worked. We put some water in there and they were somewhat cool by morning.

The one thing I noticed for business travelers is the lack of outlets. There was only one on the desk. So if you need to charge your laptop and cell phone, you’re out of luck unless you take it to the bathroom.

The only partially good thing was the wired internet. It did websites well, but it looked to throttle media files. It took about 10 minutes to download a couple minute podcast. Not good.

Overall, if you are looking for an off-the-strip hotel, skip this one. There are many more and better options.

A rude TSA Worker

This morning I experienced the most unprofessional TSA employee of all my travel experiences.
Now let me begin by saying that all the TSA employees I have previously encountered have been professional and have good dealings.

This incident didn’t happen to me, but to one person in front of me and a person behind me in line.

The first person got lectured about not meeting the new name requirements. The agent said, “I can stamp this void and send you back to the counter.” That is just rude.

The second person laid their documents down on the table before he was ready and the agent stopped and said, “pick those up.” Then the guy picked them up and said sorry I was just trying to make things easier.

The next thing out of the agents mouth just shocked me. “I don’t come dump paper on your desk do I?”

That is not what the traveler was trying to do. The traveler then said something else, I didn’t think it was a big deal, and the TSA agent said, “Do you want to go to the back of the line?”

That is just an abuse of power. Just bad.

After going through the security, the traveler got a card to send in a letter of complaint. The TSA agent then comes up to the supervisor wanting to know what the guy was complaining about and then proceeds to complain about the traveler.

I work in public affairs and communication with the public is essential to have support and understanding. Bad employees like this give the TSA and other federal employees a bad name.

Frontier Messed Up Today

Frontier Airlines has really messed up today. We were supposed to leave at 11:45 today. But we are still sitting in Denver, instead of getting ready to land in Washington, DC.
We are all on the plane, but we’re not going anywhere. This flight was late getting to Denver and now we are waiting for a part to fix the captains chair.

So instead of getting to DC at 5 pm, we are getting in around 7. There goes my opportunity to have an early dinner and get ready for the week.

I am hoping we get in at a reasonable time. I really like Frontier, but now that Republic Airlines is running the show, I may have to rethink my loyalty.

Napolitano should resign now

Department of Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano should resign her position. She just doesn’t get security or what it takes to defend this country.
Earlier today she said the “system worked” in the twarting of the bomber on the Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. Huh?

A bomber was able to get material that he used to try and blow up the flight. He actually started the fire in his lap. If it wasn’t for an observant passenger who tackled the bomber there would have been a big disaster.

Excuse me Madam Secretary. The system didn’t work.

The U.S. Government knew that there were concerns about this passenger when the bomber’s father notified the U.S. Embassy that he was concerned what his son would do. The terrorist was also known to have ties to Al Qaeda and should never had been on that flight.

What we now have to be concerned with is being scared of these terrorists. I am scared the new security measures that DHS will now implement. They tend to over-react to things and implement security measures that are show and do no real good for the security of the flight.

Napolitano should resign and someone with a real security background and knowledge become the Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security.