Generational opportunity for Colorado’s transportation system

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Colorado and the nation are on the brink of a large infusion of federal and state dollars for infrastructure from the American Rescue Plan, Colorado Recovery Plan and American Jobs Plan. This funding presents a new opportunity to think boldly about the future of getting where we need to go.

I recently completed an annual virtual visit with federal elected leaders and policy makers as part of the Northwest Mayors & Commissioners Coalition, and received broad support for fixing our infrastructure, improving transportation’s impact on climate change and bringing the Front Range into air quality conformity. It is clear the multimodal vision we have in mind for the northwest metro region is in keeping with the Biden administration’s policy focus.

Transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado, so we must invest in the infrastructure, services and programs to shift single occupant vehicle travel and modernize the ways in which transportation is paid for. Prioritizing new funding to advance the full vision for the SH 119 corridor between Boulder and Longmont is critical to improve regional mobility in the northwest metro region. And partnering with the RTD, Amtrak and Congress to support funding for Front Range Passenger Rail (FRPR) in the federal transportation bill authorization is something we should all get behind.

At the state level, the Colorado legislature will soon introduce a highly anticipated bill with the intent of addressing the structure of how transportation is funded while modernizing the modes to reflect how our infrastructure is being used today, addressing climate, electrification and air quality.

I am more hopeful we can accomplish bold transportation investments than have been made in a long time.   

Audrey DeBarros is the Executive Director of Commuting Solutions, a nonprofit organization with a mission is to enhance the mobility of commuters in the northwest metro region today and for the future headquartered in Louisville.

This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.