Kicking Off the 2020 Legislative Session with a BANG

Bringing the Coalition Together

To start the new year and the new decade, Commuting Solutions was joined by a powerhouse lineup of speakers at our 11th Legislative Breakfast to set the tone for the legislative session ahead of us. On January 6, public and private sector stakeholders, elected officials and transportation advocates and businesses gathered at the Aloft Hotel in Broomfield to talk about what we need to do, as a coalition and a region, to make our multimodal vision become a reality, starting with our 2020 transportation priorities.

The State of Transportation in Colorado

The unfortunate reality in our state is that transportation needs to be funded and we can’t agree on how. With the defeat of Proposition 110 and Proposition CC in the past two statewide elections, it’s becoming clear that what’s being done isn’t working so we need to be creative in finding a sustainable funding mechanism. Colorado is currently looking at a list of nearly $9 billion of unfunded transportation projects statewide. Republicans believe that the funding necessary can be found in the General Fund, while the Democrats want to find a dedicated, sustainable funding source for our current and future needs.

In our region alone, we are working to find funding for State Highway 119, State Highway 7, Peak Service Exploration for Northwest Rail and other projects.

If a statewide approach doesn’t start working, it may be necessary to look into regional or local funding sources for transportation. Whether that’s through Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) or Regional Transportation Authorities (RTAs), a regional approach may leave some areas of the state in further disrepair while other region choose to pursue their own funding.

To explore these topics and what lies ahead, we were joined by U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse, Governor Jared Polis, Broomfield Mayor, Pat Quinn, Speaker of the House KC Becker, Senator Faith Winter, Representative Matt Gray, Colorado Energy Office Executive Director Will Toor, RTD General Manager, David Genova, Brue Baukol founder Chad Brue, Senator Rachel Zenzinger and CDOT Executive Director, Shoshana Lew.

Here are a few of the key takeaways from the event.

Moving Forward with 2020 Vision

We have to continue to work together.

From organizations such as the Denver Regional Council of Governments to the US 36 Mayors & Commissioners Coalition, we have proved to be a force to be reckoned with when we work together. It was collaboration and persistence that brought the US 36 corridor from being a congested, slow-moving highway to one of the most effective multi-modal corridors in the state that is now being used a model across the nation. It was a resounding message touched on by all the speakers: together we are stronger and we can accomplish anything.

Funding NEEDS to be resolved.

Representative Matt Gray said it best when he said he doesn’t want to come to next year’s Legislative Breakfast with nothing to show or no progress made to address the significant transportation funding gap. In 2020, the biggest enemy we have won’t be the opposition, but if we finish the year without getting something across the finish line. Transportation funding cannot continue to be debated without getting any results. The longer it takes to figure out a solution, the larger the list of unfunded projects will become and the further behind we will fall in keeping our infrastructure in pace with our state’s growth.

Climate change and the environment are an integral part of the conversation.

No matter what funding mechanism we decide on or what innovations we integrate into our infrastructure, it’s all for nothing if we don’t start reducing our emissions and lessening our impact on the environment. Colorado Energy Office Director, Will Toor, discussed the electrification of our transportation and infrastructure, starting with Governor Polis’ zero emissions vehicle mandate from 2019. Transportation has become the largest source of emissions nationally, overtaking electricity. It’ll take a collaborative effort between the state, the auto industry and the general public to electrify transportation, but it can and will be done.

 

Transportation funding, sustainability and our future as a state depends on our ability to work together and continue to be creative around solving the problems in front of us. We have done it before as a region, and we will continue to do it again, until our multimodal vision, established in the Northwest Area Mobility Study, is fully realized and keeping us moving.

A Note from the Speaker of the House: Vote Yes on Proposition CC

KC Becker is the 39th and current Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives since 2019. She has represented the state’s 13th district since 2013. Prior to her legislative service, she served on the Boulder City Council, where she was the council’s representative on the Boulder Urban Renewal Authority and was the city’s representative to the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG). Becker was elected to the Boulder City Council in 2009. 

 

View of Colorado US 36As a Boulder resident who works in Denver, I’ve driven, carpooled, vanpooled, bussed and biked U.S. 36 more times than I can remember. I’ll never lose that sense of wonder when I head home over Davidson Mesa and catch a glimpse of the Indian Peaks looming over the Flatirons.

But looming even larger over the Front Range is a local crisis that’s unfolding as a national embarrassment: the best economy in the country–the envy of other states–saddled with $9 billion in transportation needs, all without a dedicated funding source (see: no plan for the future). We’re one of the worst states in road conditions and urban congestion, adding up to over $2300 per year per person in car repairs and lost time.

It started almost 30 years ago with a narrow vote on a ballot measure called the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), which is the most restrictive state spending limits in the country. Almost every business, academic and public sector leader will tell you: forcing the state to uphold this antiquated law and refund taxes to individuals over an arbitrary limit may be good politics, but it’s awful policy. No matter how much money the state collects from things like corporate tax and tourism revenue, it can’t invest much of it in basic services.

We make our communities feel the brunt of the bad times without the benefit of the good times.

Because of this irrational cap on spending, these forced rebates will average $37 per person next year. Don’t get me wrong, for a lot of Coloradans that’s a lot of money—a tank of gas, a few days of groceries, two weeks of diapers, a date night.

But proposition CC is asking voters to pool this money to the tune of $309 million for the state next year, and likely more in years to follow. With one vote we can use our temporary refunds to untangle our broken tax code and invest the money the state already collects in three specific areas: transportation, K-12 Education and Higher Education. That’s $103 million for transportation and transit needs,$103 million for schools and $103 million for higher ed.

These refunds may be $37 for the average Coloradan, but they’re a windfall for the wealthiest — closer to $1000, reimbursing them more for just having more money.

If we can allow the state to invest this money it already collects, without raising taxes, we can invest these one-off refunds into the long-term health of the state.

Under Proposition CC, 40% of the new money for transportation will go straight to local and county governments. Places like Louisville, Broomfield, Boulder and the whole Front Range corridor will be able to identify and invest in their specific transportation priorities. The other 60% will go to the embarrassingly underfunded state transit fund.

We can, as Commuting Solutions says, create “transportation options that connect commuters to their workplaces, businesses to their employees, and residents to their communities.”

Proposition CC won’t eliminate Colorado’s budget woes, but it’s a great step forward–without raising taxes. And it’s exactly what conservatives have been asking us to do for decades: act within the limits of TABOR and invest in our needs with the money we already have.

Proposition CC is a defining moment for Colorado’s future. We can reduce congestion, improve our schools and keep our economy firing on all cylinders, simply by allowing state and local governments to keep and invest the money it already collects.

I’d be grateful for your support. Together, we can do better–for our kids, our schools and our transit. Together, we can invest in Colorado’s future!

Visit yesonpropcc.com to learn more.

Breaking Down the 2019 Legislative Session

The 2019 Legislative Session wrapped up on May 3 and while transportation was not a primary focus in the session, there were still several pieces of legislation that will have a positive impact on transportation.

Here is a breakdown.

TABOR Reform – HB19–1257 and HB19-1258

What is it?

This session there were two bills that would amend Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) and what is done with the extra revenue from taxes.

TABOR caps the amount of money the state can spend each year to the current budget plus growth and inflation. Extra revenue is returned to the taxpayers.

The first bill will ask voters to allow to the state to keep the money and the second bill requests that the funds be split equally between transportation, K-12 education and higher education.

The third allocated to the Highway Users Tax Fund would be divided with 60% going to the State Highway Fund, 22% to the counties and 19% to municipalities.

How does it impact you?

If these bills are approved by voters this coming November, it would mean you’re less likely to get a state refund from your taxes. However, it would provide some short term funding for much needed transportation infrastructure projects.

What’s next?

Both of these bills will be put on the November ballot for voter approval. If approved, the bill will take effect no later than 30 days after the vote.

Climate Change – HB19-1261

What is it?

This bill, introduced by House Speaker and Boulder native, KC Becker, set specific targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state: reduce output 30% by 2030 and 90% by 2050.

How does it impact you?

In order to meet these goals, the state is going to become serious about reducing vehicle miles travelled by single occupancy vehicles, electric zero-emission vehicles and more, given that transportation is Colorado’s second-largest source of carbon emissions.

Impacts of Transportation Changes – SB19-239

What is it?

SB19-239 will require CDOT to convene a stakeholder group to examine the economic, environmental and transportation system impact of new and emerging technologies.

The group will be responsible for:

  • Quantifying the amount of carbon emissions produced by ridesharing vehicles
  • Quantifying the amount of carbon emissions that can be reduced by zero-emission vehicles
  • The incentivizing of multiple occupant trips
  • Identify additional or improved transportation infrastructure
  • Access the cost associated with the above

How does it impact you?

While there may be no direct impacts to the public immediately, the recommendations produced by this stakeholder group will be influential on transportation policy in Colorado for years to come and will shape how our infrastructure is developed going forward.

Delay Referral of Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANs) – SB19-263

What is it?

A ballot measure that would ask voters to authorize the sale of Transportation Revenue Anticipation Note (TRANs) is being delayed to November 2020, as opposed to November 2019. If approved in 2020, the measure would:

  • Require the sale of TRANs in a maximum amount of $1.837 billion
  • Require an additional $42.5 million be transferred from the General Fund to the State Highway Fund and that TRANs debt service be paid from the SHF

How does it impact you?

This bill will eventually provide additional short-term funding for transportation as it won’t be put to the voters until 2020, but doesn’t create a long-term sustainable source. It’s another band-aid on the situation while funding is figured out.

What next?

While our state legislators did a good job at finding short-term funding sources for vital transportation projects in Colorado, the next big hurdle we face is figuring out a long-term solution. This could be raising the gas tax, adding a sales tax or an idea that hasn’t been thought of yet. Solving our transportation funding crisis continues to be a top priority for our state and local government.

 

What You Can Do to Celebrate Earth Day

Ride a Bike. Take a Carpool. Ride a Bus.

Save the Earth.

Earth Day is April 22 and a huge topic of conversation recently has been climate change and our worsening air quality. When scientists and experts talk about the environment, its easy to become overwhelmed by the magnitude of the numbers presented and think that there’s no hope. But while there are big changes that need to be made, as individuals we can make a huge impact by making small adjustments in our everyday lives.

Every Trip Counts

One of the Commuting Solutions’ mottos when we talk about commute behavior change is, “Every trip counts.” When people think about changing their commute behavior, they often think of it as an all or nothing deal. They think they either carpool every day or not at all. But changing commute behavior doesn’t have to be changing how commute every day. It’s as simple as committing to commute by bike one day a week throughout the summer or forming a carpool to use every other week with coworkers.

The Environmental Impact of Cars

With Earth Day coming up this month, it’s a good time to think about why these small behavior changes can have such a large impact on our environment and our air quality in the northwest metro region. The average car will emit 6 tons of carbon dioxide every year. Multiply that by the number of residents in our beautiful region and its easy to see how that’s a problem. Transportation for commuting and trucking is responsible for 29 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted in the United States every year according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Every gallon of gas emits roughly 24 pounds of carbon dioxide between the production of the gas and the smog that comes out of tailpipes. In comparison, one 4-mile bike ride keeps roughly 15 pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted into our atmosphere. By swapping your car for a bike, you’re already making a huge difference and that’s just one trip!

Small Steps For a Big Change

If you aren’t a cyclist, there are other options that will both reduce your carbon footprint and save you money while doing it! Carpooling is a great option for a sustainable commute option. By forming a carpool, you’re reducing the number of single-occupancy vehicles travelling on our road. If your commute is over 10 miles one way, then another great option is a vanpool. It’s estimated that sharing a ride with one other person will reduce carbon emissions by over 8 pounds! To find a carpool that works for your commute, join the My Way to Go network to find commuters in your area. If you’re interested in joining a vanpool, learn more on the Way to Go website.

To make a difference for our environment, you don’t have to go sell your car (although we wouldn’t say no!). You can just look at your commute and see what small changes you can make for the benefit of our environment. Whether its driving to the nearest bus station and commuting by transit the rest of the way, finding a carpool or committing to bike to work a couple days a week, there is an option that works for your commute! If you need help finding a commute option that works for you, email us at info@commutingsolutions.org and we can help you find your smart commute to start your positive change for the environment this Earth Day.

Join The Conversation!

To learn more about climate change and steps being taken around the world to reduce the impact of transportation on our environment and atmosphere, join us at the Third Sustainable Transportation Summit to hear from regional experts, academics and local elected officials to discuss these issues and more. Register today at: https://cs2019sts.eventbrite.com.

Why We’re Voting For Proposition 110 (And You Should Too!)

 

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.

Why 110?

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.

What Next?

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 info@commutingsolutions.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 info@commutingsolutions.org to request a speaker!

 

Transportation Funding Gaining Momentum in Colorado

After the historic passage of Senate Bill 001 during the legislative session this spring, stakeholders from all sectors are hoping voters will keep the transportation momentum moving forward this November.

Tony Milo, Executive Director, Colorado Contractors Association and Jake Martin, Campaign Director, Let’s Go, Colorado shared Coloradoans for Colorado’s vision for sustainable transportation funding during Commuting Solutions’ quarterly Membership Meeting this week.

“Today, we are here to get Colorado moving again and propose a ballot measure that will put real, ongoing funding towards our statewide transportation system,” explained Milo.

What exactly is Let’s Go, Colorado proposing and how could it impact the northwest metro region? We have the inside scoop on their proposed ballot measure.

What is Let’s Go, Colorado?

Let’s Go, Colorado is a ballot initiative to address the funding needs for transportation across the state of Colorado. The ballot initiative is being put forth by a coalition of nearly 30 organizations statewide commonly known as Coloradoans for Colorado.

Let’s Go, Colorado is proposing a 0.62 percent sales tax that would provide money to the State Highway Fund, Local Transportation Priorities Fund (Cities & Counties) and a Multimodal Transportation Fund.

Tell me more about the potential ballot measure…

After an in-depth look at every mechanism available to fund transportation, the coalition determined that a sales tax was the most equitable, single funding source.  The sales tax option will raise enough to address our transportation needs while ensuring that everyone (including tourists) pay the same rates. In the first year, this solution is estimated to raise $767 million in revenue.

Worried about how this sales tax could impact your pocket book? The sales tax would be about six cents on a ten-dollar purchase.

How did we get here?

Colorado has a $9 billion backlog of transportation related projects that desperately need funding but there isn’t any available money in the state budget. This deficit didn’t appear overnight, so how did Colorado get here?

In 1992, Colorado passed a gas tax to help fund transportation projects in the state. 22 cents from every gallon of gas purchased goes towards transportation funding. Despite inflation, a higher cost of gas and growing transportation needs, this tax has not changed in almost 30 years.

Costs have also increased dramatically since 1992. The cost of resurfacing a road has increased by over 120%. The Colorado Department of Transportation can barely keep up with the costs of maintenance, let alone funding new projects.

What next?

The Let’s Go, Colorado ballot initiative has until August 6 to collect 98,492 signatures to get the initiative onto the November ballot.

Currently, Commuting Solutions has taken a position of conditional support of the Let’s Go, Colorado initiative, contingent upon the inclusion and level of funding of projects from our region in the ballot project list. The US 36 Mayors & Commissioners Coalition and Commuting Solutions has written a letter to the Colorado Department of Transportation outlining the projects they would need funded in order to support the ballot initiative.

If you would like learn more the Let’s Go, Colorado (Proposition 110) ballot initiative, click here.

To learn more about the state of transportation in Colorado, go to commutingsolutions.org.

 

Transportation Gains Momentum

What’s Been Going on with Commuting Solutions

Things are always moving and changing at Commuting Solutions and the last month has been no different. Between hosting our Sustainable Transportation Summit, closely watching the progress of SB-001 up until the end of the Legislative Session and progress on the State Highway 7 study that began earlier this year, it has been a full and busy month.

State Highway 7 Study & State Highway 119 Study Build Momentum

Map of State Highway 7 (Courtesy of RTD)

State Highway 7, connecting Boulder to Brighton via Arapahoe Road, Baseline Road and East 160th Avenue, will be undergoing a Station Area Master Plan (STAMP) study over the next two years following the completion of the 2017 Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study. $200K has been awarded to fund the study, which officially began in spring of 2018.

The PEL study determined that there was “both a desire and a need for transit service along the SH 7 corridor in the future” and recommends transit priority and queue jumps at select signalized intersections, along with highway cross sections that included full depth, full width shoulders for bus-on-shoulder operation where feasible.

The results of the PEL grant are congruent with the findings of the City of Boulder’s 2018 East Arapahoe Transportation Plan which also recommends redesigning the streets to accommodate Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), High Occupancy Vehicles (HOVs) and new shared technologies.

To advocate and coordinate for the construction of this vital multimodal corridor including BRT and a regional bikeway, local governments and organizations have formed the SH 7 Coalition and Commuting Solutions is proud to be a member of this coalition.

Given the relative affordability of housing and the amount of undeveloped land along this corridor, there is great potential for future growth which will increase the travel demands of SH 7. It is projected that by 2040, without BRT, a Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) trip from Brighton to Boulder on SH 7 will take upwards of 80-90 minutes. With a dedicated BRT lane, that trip would only take 60 minutes.

RTD is hosting public meetings to discuss the progress of the State Highway 119 Study and receive public input. If you were unable to attend the meeting in Longmont yesterday, there will be a second meeting tonight [May 24] in Boulder at the University of Colorado at from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

SB-001 Marks a Big Step for Multimodal Transportation in Colorado

On May 8, at the end of the legislative session, SB-001 was passed by both chambers and is the first major piece of transportation funding legislation since 2009. SB-001 provides for an allocation of funds from the state budget to transportation in 2018 and 2019: $495 million in 2018 and $150 million in 2019. The bill also created a ballot measure to issue up to $2.4 billion in bonds to be voted on by the public in 2019.

This bill also addresses Colorado’s need to invest in a multi-modal future with the creation of a new multi-modal transportation fund that will receive 15% of the new revenue and bond proceeds, which will come out to $96.75 million over the next two years.

SB-001 is a monumental step towards closing the $9 billion gap in transportation funding that exists throughout Colorado and helps to establish Colorado’s interest in creating a multi-modal future for the whole state.

On May 19, the Statewide Transportation Coalition voted to proceed with a .62% sales tax increase initiative for the November ballot to help create funding for statewide transportation projects.

Thank You for a Successful Sustainable Transportation Summit

Commuting Solutions’ Sustainable Transportation Summit took place on May 9 at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center and the event was a smashing success. Over 130 attendees gathered to hear the latest insights on multi-modal transportation trends and innovations from local and regional thought leaders.

We want to thank all our amazing panelists and speakers as well as everybody that attended the event. Our event would not have happened without your support and expertise. If you were able to attend the event, we would appreciate hearing your feedback on the event by taking a quick survey.

 

 

Wrapping It Up

Stay tuned with Commuting Solutions this summer we follow the progress of the state wide ballot initiative and celebrate Bike to Work Day on June 27.

Count Down to the End of the 2018 Legislative Session: Will Multi-Modal Transportation Be Prioritized?

With the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) navigating a $9 billion backlog of projects across the state and the 2018 state legislative session coming to a close on May 9th, the transportation conversation is at a critical stage. Currently, we are eagerly awaiting the results of two bills that could benefit transportation funding.

HB18-1340  Capital Construction Bill

HB18-1340 accompanies the Long Bill and is focused on capital construction project funding. The bill includes one section that would approve a one-time $495 million general fund transfer if SB-001 fails to become law.  We are appreciative of the efforts of House Speaker Crisanta Duran and Rep. Faith Winter to distribute the funding between CDOT, counties and cities, and 15% designated for multi-modal needs.

Bill Status
The bill is before the Joint Budget Committee who is acting as the conference committee on SB18-1340, as the House rejected the Senate amendments.

SB18-001 Fix Colorado Roads Act

SB-001 passed unanimously out of the Senate.  The bill delayed a referred measure for voters to consider transportation bonds using existing state revenue until 2019.  The bill also calls for transferring $500 million from the general fund to the State Highway Fund, and $250 million annually for the next 19 years from the General Fund to the State Highway Fund to pay back the bond initiative.

SB-001 delays a referred transportation bonding measure for voters to consider until 2019, which allows  for a citizen-initiated ballot question in 2018. Currently there are three possible outcomes if this bill passes:

  • If a citizen initiative ballot question in 2018 is successful, then the 2019 referred measure is repealed.
  • If a citizen initiative in 2018 is unsuccessful, then the 2019 referred measure will move forward, asking voters to issue $3.5 million in bonds with a maximum repayment of no more than $5 billion.
  • If both an initiative and referendum fail, then the $250 million will continue to be transferred from the General Fund to the State Highway Fund on an annual basis.

Bill Status
The House has yet to take up SB18-001, so in the meantime, we are advocating with our northwest metro region legislators, asking them to support four principles to advance multi-modal transportation, local share, preserve future managed lane projects and identify new funding to pay back any bonding efforts, which is consistent with the policy agenda of the US 36 Mayors & Commissioners Coalition and Commuting Solutions.

Get Involved

To achieve our multi-modal future, it takes leaders from every industry and community to advocate for the needs of the northwest metro region. Engage in the transportation conversation by:

  • Contacting your state legislators to weigh in on the transportation conversation
  • Meet state representatives and transportation partners by attending our Membership Meeting on June 19.

We would like to thank our state legislators for their service during the 2018 state legislative session and encourage community members throughout the northwest metro region to plug into the conversation.

Advocacy Update: 2018 Legislative Session

The 2018 Legislative Session began with the potential of new federal money, discussions regarding allocations of transportation funds included in SB17-267 and continued dialogue surrounding a draft project list and a potential statewide ballot measure. Last month, we shared our efforts with the US 36 Mayors & Commissioners Coalition to advocate for multi-modal investments in the northwest metro region. The regional and statewide transportation conversation is evolving and maturing every day! At Commuting Solutions, we closely watch every transportation related piece of legislation and wanted to provide an update on a handful of initiatives that we’ve been tracking:

Senate Bill 001 (SB18-001) Transportation Infrastructure Funding

SB18-001 would ask the voters to authorize the issuance of $3.5 billion in transportation revenue anticipation notes (TRANs), and repeal Senate Bill17-267 which has begun to raise up to $1.88 billion for state transportation projects. It would repay the bonds by allocating 10% of state sales and use tax net revenue for that purpose.

Currently, the bill has passed the Senate Transportation Committee and has since been referred too the Senate Finance Committee for review.

House Bill 1119 (HB18-1119) Highway Building and Maintenance Funding

HB18- 1119 requires the transportation commission to submit a ballot question to the voters November 2018 which, if approved, will require the CDOT Executive Director to issue transportation revenue anticipation notes (TRANs) in a maximum principal amount of $3.5 billion; repeals SB-267.

Currently the bill has been introduced and is assigned to the Transportation & Energy Committee. The bill is awaiting it’s first committee hearing.

Potential Statewide Ballot Measure

In addition to following legislation, we are also closely participating in the conversation for a potential statewide ballot measure. Currently, CDOT has prepared a draft statewide project list for which we are actively engaged to request equitable inclusion of projects benefiting the northwest metro region.  We anticipate three ballot titles will be submitted on February 20th to allow flexibility while additional polling is conducted.

Federal Infrastructure Plan

As part of President Trump’s State of the Union address, infrastructure was included as a high priority for the White House in his second year. An initial review of the official proposal released earlier this week notices a shift to the funding principles that encourage state, local and private investment by providing incentives for limited federal grants. The proposal would also streamline the environmental review and federal oversight. While Commuting Solutions is still learning more about the plan, we are committed to exploring how the plan will impact the northwest metro region.

Next Steps

As always, Commuting Solutions is actively engaged in advocating for the multi-modal needs of the northwest metro region. If you are interested in engaging in the transportation momentum or additional policy updates, please register for our March 13 Membership Meeting at the 1st BANK Center!