Chambers of Commerce say a sustainable statewide approach must be found during 2020 Legislative Session
Denver, Colorado (January 31, 2020) – Today’s report card by the Colorado Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) further shows what we all know — the disrepair of Colorado’s transportation infrastructure is in need of a permanent funding solution.
“The ACSE report card should give our state leaders pause and spur them to take substantive action to address our state’s transportation funding crisis,” says Sandra Hagen Solin, spokesperson for Fix Colorado Roads, a coalition of business leaders across the state committed to smart, innovative transportation funding that provides for future economic growth and success for all of Colorado.
“Now is the time to commit to coming together with a well-balanced package. Colorado has added more than half a million to our population in the last decade. That means more drivers, and more wear and tear on our already inadequate transportation system,” said Hagen Solin.
According to ASCE, Colorado drivers pay 13 percent less, at .22 cents a gallon, than the national average per gallon for gas taxes. “We believe adjusting this to meet our state’s current population needs, while also looking to increase fees on electric vehicles and ride-share services will produce a fair mechanism to fund transportation infrastructure in the long term,” continues Hagen Solin.
With transportation as a key focus for the 72nd General Assembly, Fix Colorado Roads supports a legislative package that includes new and equitable funding sources — not only from those driving gas-fueled vehicles, but also electrical vehicles; and continuing general fund funding and future bonding.
The following Fix Colorado Roads partners offer their local perspective on the transportation funding challenges in their communities:
“Infrastructure improvement is needed to help combat congestion in the I-70 corridor which infuriates travelers, harms local communities and small businesses, impacts our tourism economy, creates safety risks, wastes fuel and hampers intrastate and interstate commerce. We recognize the same situation impacts communities around the state and support efforts to address our state transportation infrastructure system to benefit all four corners of Colorado.”
- Chris Romer, president & CEO of Vail Valley Partnership
“While the Transportation report clearly points out that Pueblo’s roads are in the worst condition in the state, 49% poor and 23% mediocre . We feel that all Colorado roads are in poor condition and very congested and are affecting Colorado’s economy and will continue to if the issue isn’t addressed. We also feel that this is a statewide problem that every region of the state needs to work together to solve.”
- Rod Slyhoff, president of the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce
“We have a capacity problem on state highways and interstates, meaning Colorado isn’t building enough new lane miles. The study’s point about the gas tax is spot on: if Colorado is going to have enough money to invest in its roads, we need to consider increasing the gas tax.”
- David May, Fix North I-25 Business Alliance
“The report echoes what we see every day as we drive on our state highways. We’ve taken steps to address our local streets and roads but most of us still use a state highway to commute and recreate…we as a state must do something about the poor state of our transportation infrastructure.”
- Diane Schwenke, president of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce