|Much of of our pollution comes from vehicles and transportation is one of the biggest areas of spending. Given the urgency of the climate crisis and the 26% pollution reduction promised to all Coloradans by 2025 and 50% by 2030, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) should only be making investments that help achieve this and that do not prevent it from being accomplished.
Please ask that this important element be included in CDOT’s GHG Pollution Strategy. We support CDOT’s progress in making such a proposal, but it needs to be implemented much earlier and with the sidebar above. CDOT’s current transportation plans and programs be re-opened. Register here (closes at 11am on Nov. 9). The final hearing will be held on November 10 at 3pm. You can also send your own comments to email@example.com before 5:00 pm. on November 19, 2021. Feel free to re-use or modify this letter and any appendices as well.
There is a huge equity aspect both with the spending and the air pollution from continuing to direct the bulk of spending on highway widenings and until we stop adding pollution and increasing our dependence on one mode in this way, we will continue to have problems. The non-driving 30% or so of the population is underserved and over-impacted by pollution, access, and more. And the cleanest, most affordable and cost-effective transportation systems, serving all Coloradans, not just drivers, remain to be built out. Think Bustang for all communities, or research (Dill, 2013) findings that protected bikeways could be built out for a whole city for the same cost as 1 mile of 4 lane highway. Yet CO even diverted COVID funds to highway widenings and lane additions, which add pollution and cars on the road by years 5-10, on a 1:1 basis with the extra space. And roads are just 43% covered by transportation related fees such as the gas tax.
Public funds, including transportation funds need to more equitably serve all people and all modes, also enabling cleaner and more cost-effective modes like active transportation and transit to be safer, more viable and comprehensively available. Most of all, transportation funding needs to be shifted to build out clean, non-auto systems in the upcoming planning periods.
All Colorado agencies, including our biggest GHG sources and biggest public expenditures, must carry the load to reduce GHG by 26% by 2025 and 50% by 2030! Current state policy is not at all on track to reach this.