2013 Oct 07 By Blake 0 comment
One possible way that the development of a front range hyperloop could be stalled or halted is the continuing friction between rural and populated centers in Colorado. Today’s article in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/07/us/fed-up-on-the-prairie-and-voting-on-seceding-from-colorado.html?hp&_r=0 highlights the plains population that seeks to withdraw and seceed by creating their own state.

The creation of a hyperloop might not directly benefit the residents of the new state on the plains but will be felt if Colorado remains whole. Transport efficiency and increase in jobs that are centered on the stops of the hyperloop will be easy to quantify.  Increase economic activity will be real, will be a new important industry and will be just as important as airports, highways and train lines.  

Another benefit that the new state will not benefit from is how rapid movement of people cheaply will change the psychology of people living in the area. Concepts of time and place will be altered, a person could travel from Boulder to Colorado Springs in under 30 mins. All without without the worry of traffic and it would be cheap. Quality of life for people that use the hyperloop will increase. This is not a easy measure to quantify because it differs for every person.  Reasons that people move away from the rural areas, or urban, is because the quality of life is decreasing in comparison to life in the other area. However, friction of psychological worldviews of rural, urban and suburban people will increase when resources are stretched thin.

We might be starting to see this in Colorado. The people the NYT article cite their “conservative” beliefs as to reasons they should succeed. These include Issues of gun control, making marriage benefits universally applicable for women and men couples, and marijuana legalization. Not exactly high tech nor things that will help build a hyperloop.

Ironically it matters for rural people that urban populations be more energy efficient and develop new transportation. Changing demographics along the front range have made Colorado more wealthy, prosperous, and the quality of life has increased. What help from the Plains other than new gas reserves and water rights contributed to this? The newly found Colorado plains and Wyoming natural gas reserves in “conservative”  heartlands will be a good article for another blog post. But making very fast transport, further develop Colorado’s green energy (via solar on top of the hyperloop and ultra efficient power lines that be apart of the hyperloop) and improvement in quality of life will benefit both rural and urban population centers.

The real issue might be of the perceived economic independence with the gas reserves for this new state. This might be guiding the people and their “conservative” values.  Energy efficiency and the creation of more solar along the hyperloop might be threat for this new state’s bottom line.

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