Monorail to Vail on Colorado ballot 

While proponents of a proposed Vancouver-Whistler monorail may have Faye Leung’s support, supporters of a Denver-Vail monorail are one step further along: the proposal is one of the questions Colorado residents will vote on when they go to the polls in November.

Supporters of the monorail needed 80,571 valid signatures to ask voters Nov. 6 for $50 million to build a test monorail track at a research facility. They learned last week that 80,604 of the 115,000 signatures collected have been validated.

However, Colorado Governor Bill Owens is strongly opposed to the monorail project.

It’s projected the $50 million monorail test track would have to be in place until 2004, when – if the technology is proven and affordable – Colorado residents would then vote on spending up to $5 billion to build the monorail from Denver to Vail. The full line wouldn’t be ready before 2010.

Proponents say the monorail would travel at 125 mph and would carry the equivalent of eight lanes of highway traffic. Opponents argue that something needs to be done now to relieve congestion on the I-70 freeway that runs from Denver through Vail and on to Utah, not in nine years time.

Jon Caldara, president of the Independence Institute, a conservative, non-partisan public policy research centre, said he would review the signatures to see if he can find 34 that aren’t valid and knock the monorail off the November ballot. If he can’t, the Independence Institute will wage a campaign urging voters to say "no" to the monorail proposal.

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