Colorado Governor’s ‘Roadmap’ Emphasizes Transit

Governor Jared Polis (D) (above) recently released his “Roadmap to a Future Colorado 2026,” detailing proposals to create more affordable housing, expand transit options, protect water and public land resources, as well as improve air quality. 

[Above photo by the Colorado Governor’s Office

“We have an opportunity to create a more affordable and livable Colorado for everyone when our state turns 150 in 2026,” Gov. Polis said in a statement.

“[State residents] are calling for reduced housing costs and better transit options, and this roadmap details common sense actions we can take to deliver the results Coloradans deserve, while protecting our environment and the resources we rely on,” he added. 

Photo by the Colorado DOT

Increasing access to trains, buses, and bicycle transportation options are one of six key focus areas of the governor’s proposed roadmap. He added that housing, transit, and affordability are all “linked together” and that the state needs to “make progress on them together” to meet his “ambitious goals” of making Colorado more “affordable and liveable.”

“By pairing an active transportation and transit network with more housing that Coloradans can afford, we can create better options and quality of life for Coloradans,” noted Shoshana Lew, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation.

“This focus on housing complements the [governor’s] work to improve multimodal transportation and strengthen communities across the state,” she added.

To that end, Colorado DOT has been engaged in several transit-focused projects. For example the agency is currently working on a study looking at re-establishing a 191-mile long leg of passenger rail service in Colorado’s Yampa Valley, along with other initiatives to improve statewide transit connectivity.

Related to that effort, the agency recently issued a call to railroad equipment manufacturers to detail what types of passenger train units are potentially available for that that mountain rail line.

The Colorado DOT also launched a new Bus Rapid Transit or BRT program for the Denver region in November that seeks to construct BRT routes on sections of Federal Boulevard, Colorado Boulevard, and eventually Colfax Avenue east of I-225 in the Denver region.

BRT work is also underway on CO 119/Diagonal Highway in Boulder County, and future rapid transit service is being planned on CO 7/Arapahoe Road between Boulder and Brighton.

“A critical part of BRT planning is strong public and community engagement,” noted Jessica Myklebust, regional transportation director for Colorado DOT’s Denver metro region.

“The success of a strong BRT program depends greatly on the partnership with the communities where the corridors are located,” she said. “BRT will connect our urban corridors and communities, providing vital transportation options that allow us access to jobs, shopping, health care, education, recreation, and life.”

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