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LTE: Without transportation tax, projects could end

This coming November election will include Ballot Measure 1C
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Fall leaves along the Front Range

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This coming November election will include Ballot Measure 1C asking voters to continue, without increase, the current .01% sales tax that supports our county transportation system. This modest sales tax (1 cent on every $10 purchase) has been in place for twenty years and has paid for, or leveraged state and federal funding for, almost all of our county transportation system improvements, whether shoulders on our roads that make them more safe and reduces conflict between users, our regional trail system such as the LoBo Trail connecting Boulder, Gunbarrel, Niwot and Longmont and the Coal Creek trail system connecting Superior, Lafayette, Louisville and Erie, and  county transit services such as the FLEX that connecting Boulder and Longmont to the North Front Range, the Lafayette call and ride service, the CLIMB connecting Gold Hill to Boulder, and the Eldorado Canyon and Hessie trailhead shuttles, as well as  assistance to our mobility limited population to help them go  work, shopping, recreation or the doctor.

If County Ballot Question 1C is not approved the county will have no funding to improve the existing transportation system, whether roads, bikeways, trails or transit. There will be no new shoulders on county roads, and no new regional trails or underpasses will be built.  There will be no county support for transit services such as the shuttle to Eldorado Canyon and Hessie trailheads. Ride Free Lafayette and human service transportation support to Via Mobility will be significantly reduced. Furthermore, without this sales tax, we will lose out on millions of state and federal transportation funds that require a local match, putting improvements to the Longmont Diagonal, State Highway 7/Arapaho, State Highway 66, State Highway 287, and the Foothills Highway at risk.

The projects and programs to be implemented, should Ballot Measure 1C be approved, connect us to each other and the region, whether we live in the mountains, Boulder, Longmont, or the east county communities. A sampling of the projects and programs included in the list associated with this ballot initiative include shoulder and intersection improvements in the Longmont Diagonal/SH119, Arapaho/SH7, SH287, SH66, North Foothills Highway to Lyons, and South Boulder Road corridors, as well as critical county mountain roads. New regional trails will be built, and existing trails improved, in all our major corridors:  the Foothills highway to Lyons, the Boulder to Erie trail, the St. Vrain Greenway connecting Longmont and Lyons, the 75th St. trail connection linking Gunbarrel with the Heatherwood, Walden Ponds and Sawhill Ponds trails, and more.

Transit connections between all our communities will be improved, including on-demand transit service connecting our eastern communities, Lyons to Boulder transit, continuing the Gold Hill Climb and creating on demand mountain area service.  In addition, the sales tax would allow the FLEX service connecting Boulder and Longmont to Fort Collins to continue. We need to provide affordable and convenient alternatives to driving alone if we are to accomplish our climate change equity goals.

Extending the sales tax at current levels will result in improved road safety for all users, better and more affordable access for our mobility-limited and senior residents, and better commute options for workers, CU students and faculty, and visitors to communities throughout the county. Developing an effective transportation system that serves everyone in our community and connects us to the rest of the region is necessary if we are to accomplish our climate change, air quality, safety, equity, and economic sustainability goals.