Election 2018GovernorOpinionTransportation

CARY KENNEDY: Fewer trips, lower emissions, more transportation options

Author: Cary Kennedy - June 7, 2018 - Updated: June 7, 2018

becerra_photography-10-e1528227453559-1280x1280.jpg
Cary Kennedy

We are all spending too much time sitting in traffic. When my husband and I were raising our kids, we both worked full time. It was maddening when we could not have dinner together, or one of us missed bedtime, because we were stuck in traffic. And the congestion is even worse today.

Colorado can have a more sustainable transportation system with more choices and increased mobility. We can move people, not just cars by investing in an all-of-the-above strategy that includes better roads, high-speed rail, bus-rapid-transit, dedicated walking and bike routes, van pools and ride shares. Together, we can build a future with fewer trips, lower emissions and more transportation options.

The average Coloradan commutes an additional 22 minutes a day. By 2035, you can expect an average of an additional 70 minutes commute time. Traffic is projected to get worse because we haven’t prepared for where we are today, we are desperately trying to catch up and we aren’t building for the future — a future that forecasters predict includes another 4 million people moving to Colorado by 2050. Colorado has gone too long without preparing for growth. Our deteriorating roads and inadequate transit systems hold our state back and cost us time and money. Businesses trying to move goods face long and expensive delays, especially in rural Colorado. And residents and tourists who want to enjoy the mountains cancel their trips because of traffic. We need to start planning ahead so that now, and in the future, Colorado’s transportation system works for everyone.

While some highway improvements are needed, especially in rural areas, in the long term we can’t widen our way out of traffic. Instead, let’s build a coordinated system of transportation options, from rail to buses to bikes, that will allow us to reduce congestion, improve health, and protect Colorado’s environment and air quality. We can secure a future in Colorado where most trips aren’t powered by fossil fuels. Transportation is the second largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado. We are already the best place in the country to buy an electric vehicle, but we need to be the best state in the country to drive an electric vehicle by investing in charging stations throughout our state.

As governor, I’ll bring the experience needed to tackle these challenges. I developed the largest rural infrastructure program in Colorado’s history that has rebuilt or replaced over 400 aging schools across Colorado, mostly in poor or rural communities. Time and again, I have been able to develop innovative solutions to move projects forward that had previously been stalled.

These are the types of investments we need to ensure Colorado remains an innovative and prosperous state. Colorado’s quality of life and strong economy both need high-functioning infrastructure. As governor, I will lead on smart, innovative investments that can help us build the infrastructure for a thriving, equitable, and healthy Colorado that we all want.

RELATED:

> MIKE JOHNSTON: We must ask voters for a stable funding source

> DONNA LYNNE: A statewide sales-tax increase — that meets local needs

> VICTOR MITCHELL: No tax hikes or bonds; reform CDOT and cut waste

> JARED POLIS: Sensible spending plus new revenue — and innovative solutions

> DOUG ROBINSON: Build more highway lanes with bonds — $3.5 billion worth

> WALKER STAPLETON: We can tackle transportation without a tax hike

Cary Kennedy

Cary Kennedy

Cary Kennedy is a former Colorado state treasurer and a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018.