Time to do something about deteriorating transportation infrastructure

Filed under: Opinion |

The upcoming election on November 2 could be one of the most important for our community in a long time. We have always touted Colorado Springs and El Paso County as one of the best places to live in the nation. However, have you looked around at our transportation infrastructure lately, as you sit in traffic?

Simply put, we don’t have enough capacity to handle traffic levels on the roads we have. Further, higher volume roads frequently don’t go from where we are to where we want to get. We sit in traffic wasting time and energy, polluting the environment. In fact, we are No. 1 in the nation in terms of time spent in traffic when compared to cities of comparable size, according to research carried in a report in The Gazette, September 8, “Springs ranks 1st – for bad traffic.”

Pot holes and deteriorating road surfaces increase the wear and tear on our cars and nerves. Our bridges are being held up by “band aids”. We arrive at work already stressed and arrive back at home not exactly relaxed.

Working together, citizens have come up with a regional solution, a Rural Transportation Authority (RTA). The local governments have agreed to ask the voters if they like the idea and it will appear on the ballot as issue 1A. It is up to us to make it a reality by voting for issue 1A on Nov. 2

The impact of the RTA will be quick and lasting. Conservative estimates are that the 1 percent sales tax will raise $60 million each year; 55 percent will go to capital improvements (sunsets after 10 years), 35 percent to maintenance, 10 percent to mass transit The projects to be completed have been compiled by citizens’ advisory committees and approved by the city and county. The RTA will have citizen oversight and an independent audit. Additionally, the city and county have promised to keep budgets for transportation at their current levels, and not decrease existing funding in response to the new funding source.

Citizens of Colorado Springs and El Paso County, we have gotten us this far now your vote is needed. Are you satisfied with the current deteriorating state of our transportation infrastructure? If not, vote YES on November 2.

Victor C. Andrews

Colorado Springs