Bustang by Myron, Election Special Edition

Bustang by Myron, Election Special Edition

Myron works for WSP in downtown Denver as a Senior Supervising Planner. Myron commutes by Bustang from Fort Collins every day, and kindly agreed to write about his experiences for a series of blog posts. Read them in order starting with Post 1 – Hi, I am >BUZZ< and I ride a bus.

 Do the math, 109 does not fund what it promises.  I saw the results of bonding without a dedicated funding source during my 30-year career with CDOT.

In this edition, Myron shared a Letter to the Editor he wrote in response to the Greeley Tribune endorsement of Prop 109 (“Fix Our Damn Roads).

Attention Bustang Riders!  I originally drafted this letter to the editor in response to an editorial in the Greeley Tribune.  Their Editorial Board endorsed Prop 109 and not Prop 110.  I took out the specifics regarding the Trib’s endorsement and added some Bustang specific items. Sorry, the only thing humorous in this edition is the Trib’s endorsement.  

This November, two transportation propositions will be on the ballot. Why?  Because Colorado hasn’t raised its gas tax since 1991 and 27 years of inflation and record growth have created a transportation problem.  People are demanding a solution. 

Prop 109 (Fix Our Damn Roads) would bond $3.5 billion dollars, which must be repaid over 20 years from the state budget with existing revenues. It lists 60 projects totaling $5.6 billion. Do the math, 109 does not fund what it promises.  I saw the results of bonding without a dedicated funding source during my 30-year career with CDOT.  Projects that were designed and ready to construct before 2001 and the Great Recession were delayed for years, some still are not built.  When transfers from the general fund stopped, the ongoing debt payments hurt CDOT’s ability to maintain its existing transportation system.

Prop 110 (Let’s Go Colorado) provides funding through a 0.62% sales tax for 20 years. This is 6 cents on a ten-dollar purchase and does not apply to groceries or medical prescriptions.  110 preserves $1.5 billion in current state funding and allows the state to bond up to $6 billion more. Local and county governments benefit too, with 20% of the funds ($4.3 billion) going to cities and the same amount going to counties. 15% is identified for pedestrian and transit needs across the state. 

Here is the rub for Bustang riders on the north route – Prop 110 will fully fund the Express Lane from Fort Collins to Denver.  That smooth ride we experience beginning at 120th will now begin in Fort Collins.  That is travel time reliability that will reduce the overall trip time.  The 15% for pedestrian and transit projects can help local services to better connect with Bustang’s regional routes. Prop 109 does not contain full funding for the I-25 lanes, nor does put any money to transit or local projects.  

Prop 110 provides a real payment plan, not just irresponsible debt. We need a solution to solve our state and local transportation problems. 110 is dedicated transportation funding and lawmakers cannot use these funds for other purposes.  See the complete project map/list and funds distribution at https://www.codot.gov/programs/colorado-transportation-matters/together-we-go