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Denver, CO


Overpriced and overrated, for now at least - 6/21/2022
I've lived in Colorado for about 12 years now and Denver for one and a half. This review will focus on the reasons you should NOT move to Denver.
Pros:
-Close to mountains (geographically)
-Climate is okay
-Humidity is low, good for allergies
Cons:
-Far from mountains (time/drive-wise)
-Traffic and roads suck
-Drivers are bad and aggressive, especially around bikes
-Pollution and wildfire smoke are high, bad for allergies

People think they'll move here to be close to outdoor recreation, but between the increasingly hot and polluted summers, worsening traffic, and crowds, getting to those recreation areas and then enjoying them are becoming more and more difficult. A 3+ hour drive from Denver to Breckenridge (the closest big ski area) is common on the weekends during ski season, and that's in good weather. Bicycling infrastructure in and around the city is not great but it is getting better. Public transportation is poor.

Crime is going up, rapidly. We are among the top cities in the nation for catalytic converter, vehicle, and bike thefts. Homeless people are everywhere, and with the skyrocketing costs of living here, there are more of them every day. The former "crown jewel" as some call it, Union Station, is a place to be avoided. This desolation is spreading into the suburbs as more and more people simply can't afford to live here, and the enforcement of vagrancy laws is practically nonexistent.

The city was not designed nor built for its current population. Those cracks are really showing as more and more people flock here. The housing market is among the tightest in the country. Roads and bridges built in the 50s-70s are not up to the task of transporting all these people. There is not enough water. And the boomer NIMBY/we've-always-done-it-this-way mentality prevents meaningful change. Trying to tell people they shouldn't dump hundreds of gallons of water on their turf grass every day will be met with a look of incomprehension like if you just said the Broncos are your favorite ballet troupe.

Basically, if you move here and pay the current exhorbitant prices to do so, you will probably be disappointed. This city needs a break to get itself in order and figure out how to grow. It can be a good place to live again if the infrastructure catches up and some of the dinosaurs who are still living in the 70s loosen their hold on the policies, but right now it's just an overpriced pit of angry people who suddenly can't afford to live here. You can have a much higher quality of life for your money than Denver.

I predict the next big thing here will be when the officials who have been promoting the explosive growth do a reality check and realize they need to seriously limit that growth before we all run out of water. I don't know what that will look like. Maybe it will get even more expensive, and be even more overpriced.
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