Jan 21, 2024 - News

Instagram's @i70things is a hilarious and helpful look at Interstate 70 in Colorado

Alejandro Brown, creator and founder of @I-70Things. Photo: Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post

Alejandro Brown, creator and founder of @i70things. Photo: Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The @i70things account on Instagram started when Alejandro Brown stopped — in this case, in the middle of Interstate 70 in 2019 as a snowstorm snarled mountain traffic.

What to know: The headache-inducing moment, familiar to all in Colorado, gave the 28-year-old Denver marketing pro an idea: Broadcast the often-hilarious and head-shaking madness to the masses.

Why it matters: Beyond its origins, @i70things is now the leading source for traffic reports about the east-west highway that bisects the state and serves as a vital economic driver.

  • Brown is currently partnering with the state transportation department to spread the word about the state's traction law, transit options and winter driving tips, the Denver Post reports.

What he's saying: "I wanted to be able to provide an outlet for people to not only share what they've seen, but also check it out before they go to the mountains or before they come home," Brown told the Post.

  • "It's a real community thing, not me just telling people, 'This is what's happening' and not being able to back it up with a photo or a video."

The intrigue: Once anonymous, Brown now makes enough money from sponsored content, merchandise sales and events to make it a full-time job.

The bottom line: The key to driving I-70 in the winter is empathy, he says. "We all get frustrated, but it's how we deal with that," he added. "A funny outlet like this can help, especially when we're stuck and the highway's shut down."

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