As longtime Realtors, we know how the prices build going west from Interstate 25 to the Flatirons. Boulder home prices are considerably higher than outlying areas like Longmont, Erie and the Weld County communities. Life became more tolerable for commuters when Colorado 119 was smoothed out. The drive from Firestone and Longmont became a straight shot. That inconvenience has been replaced with congestion. So, when it comes to concern over air pollution, that makes two of us, Boulder. If Boulder pursues housing for middle income earners, it might make a dent in that traffic for a while. It's certainly worth exploring.
When my husband and I were newly married, we searched in vain for an affordable home in Douglas County. Englewood and parts of Arapahoe County were a reasonable drive and offered an occasional condominium in a range that we could afford. We eventually settled in Longmont. We grew up in the Denver area. Commutes longer than a half hour were unreasonable.
If you know the story of Levi Strauss, you know that not everyone went to California to mine gold. Others sold sturdy clothing to miners. Strauss managed to turn his business into a fortune, though. Boulder has a can-do spirit that should be bottled and sold. I think Erie has been knocking back a few of those. Call it a proximity infatuation, or whatever you like. Living in Boulder County is special because Boulder is a great city.
What I have observed over the years was that more numbers doesn't have to mean the ecology or scenery is spoiled. We used to make the drive up from Castle Rock and looked over the great metropolitan area with its terrible looking smog. Somehow, maybe through just plain luck, droughts have come and gone without anyone going thirsty. More are going to come.
Maybe the middle class went missing because we always assumed it would be there - that housing would be available. Finally, someone noticed that there is something wrong with this picture. There's a few rungs missing between low income and high income. It's time Boulder considered installing some steps.
Great topic, Ron.