Kelly Brough is the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Call us crazy, but we think we should make decisions about our state based on facts and data — not slogans, finger-pointing or name-calling. We hope you will join our coalition of unaffiliated voters, Democrats and Republicans from rural, urban, mountain and suburban communities and back a real answer to our very real problems and actually improve our transportation system.
One thing everybody in Colorado agrees on — we need to fund our transportation system.
Billions in unfunded projects are sitting on the drawing board while our state becomes increasingly difficult to navigate. Our residents deserve a solution rooted in reality that will provide the relief they’re demanding.
Since 1991, the last time Colorado increased taxes for transportation, spending per driver has been cut in half, while our population has nearly doubled, and lane miles have remained static. The gas tax is a diminishing source of revenue as vehicles have become more fuel efficient and alternative-fuel vehicles have risen in popularity.
It is easy to see how this scenario results in the problems we face today. Meanwhile states such as Utah, which we compete with for talented people and high-quality jobs, have made substantial investments in their transportation systems.
Our state leaders have focused on addressing our transportation funding, but they haven’t been able to make a dent in the need. This past year, the legislature focused on this priority, but their efforts fall well short of what is needed on an annual basis for transportation. Despite claims to the contrary, there is no magical pot of transportation money sitting in a secret closet at the state Capitol.