In a recent report, it was revealed that the population of the Western Slope of Colorado could grow by nearly 400,000 people by 2050.

You read that right. A two-thirds growth of the population is expected by the mid-point of this century could push Grand Junction's population to nearly 100,000. Greeley and Ft. Collins' population could double over that same time period. Denver, Boulder, and Pueblo will grow at a much slower rate and, by 2050, Denver will no longer be the largest city in the state, as that honor will fall to Colorado Springs, which has much more room for expansion.

For the Western Slope, this means a lot more planning will need to be done. The road system as it is today would not support an additional 100,000 people just in Grand Junction, and the infrastructure of the city and the Western Slope, in general, would be hard-pressed in a larger population. According to the story, the overall population on the Western Slope could grow by as much as 378,697 people.

Growth can be a wonderful thing to an area if the area is prepared for it. Understanding all of these projections, (and that's what they are, projections) gives one pause as to how we as a community and as an area will deal with it.

More public safety will be needed, (police, fire, ambulance) as well as better, wider roads, massive changes in traffic patterns and more affordable housing options. 33 years is not a very long amount of time, and if these projections are even marginally accurate, work needs to be done, planning needs to be done, to take on the added responsibility of ensuring the safety of all residents.

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