Roads, Transportation and How We Get Around
We have congested roads and a transportation system that cannot meet the demands of a growing population. The magical 9 billion dollars is what we are told this state needs. Where is this money coming from?
The rise of the Roman empire was dependent on the quality and reliability of its infrastructure as its fall was hastened by the deterioration of its roads. The American society of Engineers states an investment of 157 billion dollars per year for five years in the transportation system will prevent the loss of 3.3 trillion dollars and 3.5 million jobs in this country. That is a 76% internal rate of return on money. There should be a way we can raise the money we need for our transportation system without increasing taxes.
For many of us, our way of life is changing before our very eyes because of the rapid growth and expansion of our residential communities and the dramatic increase in people moving to Colorado. Did you know the population of Broomfield grew from 55,000 people in 2010 to 68,000 in 2017? That is a 20% increase, and it is having a big impact on our daily commutes from home, work and picking up kids at school or practice.
The bottom line is if our communities don’t have a road and transportation system that can handle our growing population, and move us around is a timely manner, our quality of life will suffer immensely.
Well, as your state representative I want to not just talk about, but actually do something address this problem.
As you may know, for years the Governor and state legislature have argued over how much of the $29 billion general fund budget should be allocated toward 50 different high-priority transportation projects identified by CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation). They also have considered options that would raise the state sales tax which would require voter approval in a statewide referendum.
I think it is totally unacceptable that our Governor and legislature has been unable to compromise and get this problem solved. The bottom line is more people are moving here and our time sitting in traffic has grown.
As your state representative, I would fight for a transportation funding solution that would not raise taxes and would require the legislature to live within their means and get the money from our $29 billion-dollar budget. Addressing our road and transportation problems is a top priority for the people in my district, and it would be a top priority for me.
In addition, as an elected official it is my responsibility to see what future developments in transportation can affect our infrastructure. Let us explore those future concepts, maybe those future modes of travel are dead-end technologies. But what happens if they are not? Let me offer you several ideas that if effective are game changers:
1. Autonomous cars: Personal cars today are only in use 4% per cent of the time, while an electric autonomous vehicle will be operating as much as 20 hours per day. That means one autonomous vehicle could conceivably replace 30 traditional cars. Impacts of autonomous vehicles in addition to less vehicles include:
· Vehicle will be electric, not fossil fuel driven.
· Noise levels in the cities will be reduced.
· There will be a decline in gas stations, car washes, auto dealers, Etc.
· Areas dedicated to parking lots will not be available for use.
2. A second idea that is gaining traction is called “Hyperloop Alpha”. The basic idea is that a Hyperloop system resembles Futuristic trains that can be built above or below the ground. The trains are magnetic so they float above the track and are accelerated by electric propulsion through a tube.
I believe that the way we use energy and travel, though effective today will change in the future. Focusing on today's issues of course is critical but we have to also look towards the future and anticipate what it will bring.