POSITION IN BRIEF:

Support for a state Department of Transportation to plan and coordinate all transportation modes in order to provide a balanced transportation system in Colorado which gives consideration to the needs of regional, county and local governments. Funding for transportation should come from federal, state and local sources.

POSITION: (Adopted 1990)

  • Support a state Department of Transportation to plan and coordinate all transportation modes and intermodal linkages. A balanced transportation system is one which includes a variety of modes in an appropriate mix for each area, and helps improve mobility and quality of life for all residents.
  • When planning for a balanced transportation system, the DOT should consider social, governmental, economic and environmental factors.
  • Public mass transportation should be improved immediately.
  • The Highway Trust Fund, the Highway Users Tax Fund, Regional Service Authority funds, and local funds should be used to finance transportation.
  • New revenue sources as needed should be considered, including but not limited to user fees, appropriations from the General Fund, revenue bonds, and private funds.
  • When expanding or building a new transportation entity, including a regional airport, consideration must be given to safety, access, availability, affordability, impact on existing land uses, noise, and the needs of regional, county and local governments.

HISTORY

During the 1991 session of the General Assembly, a bill was passed establishing a Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to be phased in over a three-year period. This department plans and coordinates all modes of transportation throughout the state.

At the same time, legislators rejected a bill establishing a Metropolitan Transportation Authority to function as a planning agency for the six-county Denver Metro Area. The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) continues as the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the six-county Denver area.

In 1994 LWVCO supported a metro area ballot question to allow the Regional Transportation District (RTD) to retain funds already collected instead of refunding them. The measure was defeated.

In 2004, LWVCO supported successful passage of the FasTracks Initiative to build several commuter and light rail lines in the metro area. The 0.4% tax increase went into effect in January 2005.

The 2009 legislature passed with LWVCO support the FASTER program, to raise registration fees to fund repairs and replacements to deteriorating roads and bridges. The bill also replaced the Colorado Tolling Enterprise with the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE). HPTE has four external board members as well as three board members from the Transportation Commission. HPTE’s mission is to develop innovative and efficient means for financing transportation infrastructure projects such as a High Occupancy/Toll lane on US 36. LWVCO supported a bill in 2009 which created the new Division of Transit and Rail in CDOT. The Division is tasked with integrating transit and passenger rail into the State Transportation Plan.

In 2014 League supported three successful bills: one that exempted military personnel from certain motor vehicle taxes if they were deployed out of the country for a full year; another that allowed state agencies to share tax-exempt motor fuel with other state agencies; and a measure that expands the list of persons eligible for grants that increase the number of electric vehicles and/or charging stations.