Why #voteYESon110 This November
It’s midterm election season and we are all being bombarded with campaign messages telling us to vote yes or no on different propositions or who to support for governor. It can be overwhelming and sometimes those messages don’t always tell us what we need to know to make the most informed decision possible when we vote.
This year, you’ll be faced with two diametrically opposed propositions for how transportation in Colorado should be funded in the coming years: Proposition 109, or Fix Our Damn Roads, and Proposition 110, better known as Let’s Go, Colorado.
The Propositions Summed Up
Proposition 109 asks voters to approve bonding $3.5 billion to fund specified road and bridge expansion, construction and maintenance and repair projects throughout the state. This money would be repaid by taking money out of the state budget.
In contrast, Proposition 110 asks voters to approve a 0.62% sales tax increase that would sunset in 20 years to start working on the $9 billion backlog of transportation projects throughout the state of Colorado. The revenue from the sales tax would be divided between state and local governments. 45% would go to the Colorado Department of Transportation and the State Highway Fund, 20% would be allocated to county governments, 20% to local governments, and 15% would go towards a state multimodal fund.
When looking at each proposition, it does initially appear as if both could remedy the transportation problems we have in the state of Colorado. However, Proposition 110 provides a much more holistic approach to addressing the funding issues we’re currently facing.
Proposition 110 not only seeks to fix the current problems we’re facing with our transportation infrastructure but seeks to provide our state with funding to address our growing population and our needs for the next 20 years. Proposition 109 only provides enough funding to repair our small percentage of our current roads and build new lanes. That is not going to be enough to keep up with our growing population and increased road use.
The allocation of funding that Proposition 110 suggests is an intentional way of addressing that different cities and counties throughout the state have vastly different transportation needs and priorities. In the northwest metro region, we are looking to improve our transit and other multimodal options and increase the capacity of our roads to address our drastically growing population. In other regions of the state, they need to make essential repairs to their existing roadways.
Sean Duffy, a spokesperson for the Let’s Go, Colorado campaign, emphasized this point, telling the Westword publication that, “That’s why we’re trying to reach folks all over the state, whose needs have been neglected for too long and have to be addressed. This has social and economic and quality-of-life impact, and we’ve got to get serious about it.”
CDOT has a statewide approved project lists that would receive funding if the ballot measure is passed. For the northwest metro region, the list includes State Highway 119, State Highway 7, State Highway 287 and the US 36 & Sheridan Underpass. These are just the projects on the statewide project list; local and county governments will have funds to allocate to their own projects. The US 36 Mayors & Commissioners Coalition proposed projects to the statewide list that had been approved in 2014 through the Northwest Area Mobility Study (NAMS).
Proposition 110 also takes into consideration that Colorado residents aren’t the only drivers using our roadways. A sales tax would draw in revenue for transportation funding from the over 30 million visitors who come to our state every year.
For residents of the northwest metro region, being asked to approve another transportation tax following the disappointment over the lack of progress of Northwest Rail after passing the 2004 FasTracks initiative, can be a difficult pill to swallow. However, there is an important distinction between Proposition 110 and FasTracks. The revenue from the FasTracks tax was overseen by the Regional Transportation District (RTD), whereas the revenue from Proposition 110 will be overseen and distributed by the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Until Election Day on November 6, Commuting Solutions will be busy advocating for Proposition 110 and all the benefits it will bring to our region. You can get involved in a few ways:
- Engage with us on social media. We’re on Facebook as Commuting Solutions and on Twitter as commutingsltns. Like, share and comment on our posts related to the campaign.
- Grab a yard sign and put it out for all your neighbors to see. Commuting Solutions has a supply of Let’s Go, Colorado yard signs and we’d love to give you one. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request one.
- Ask Commuting Solutions to speak at your next event. We would love to come speak to your business or organization about Proposition 110 in depth. Email us at email@example.com to request a speaker!