5:30am

Fri February 21, 2014
Transportation

VIDEO: Tired Of Ski Traffic? CDOT’s Oleg Is Too

Colorado ski traffic is notorious. Transit officials have tried myriad ways to improve the flow on I-70 in the mountains: Police pace cars, traffic metering at the tunnels, and staggered releases at the ski resort parking lots.

Now they’re trying something new. Now they’re introducing Oleg.

It's just another in a long line of creative Colorado Department of Transportation solutions - like the talking urinal.

Hoping to escape the "Olympic craziness in Sochi," Oleg heads to the Colorado Mountains to find peace and relaxation. Instead he finds the traffic.

“Break from the tyranny that says you must head home at 4 p.m.,” the visiting (fictional) Russian says.

Oleg is the invention of CDOT’s new “Press Play, Avoid Delay” campaign. By spending an extra hour in the mountains off the pavement, the agency says you can avoid an extra hour in peak traffic - typically between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

With help from Oleg and special “off-peak” deals at GoI70.com, the ultimate goal is to keep skiers from flooding onto roads all at the same time and causing the massive backups seen recently.

Will it work? CDOT and the I-70 Coalition hope so.

“Driving in the mountain is a privilege that many of us take for granted,” CDOT’s Executive Director Don Hunt said in a recent statement. “As someone who lives in the mountain corridor, I know that a number of factors can take an easy drive and turn it into a nightmare.

CDOT is always looking for traffic improvements, but Hunt adds drivers also play a big role in helping traffic run smoothly, from properly inspecting their tires to changing their peak driving time.

It’s unclear if the ad campaign or the deals will work. But as Oleg says, “there’s no need to be rushin…”