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Legislators gather for 2024 look at regional transportation

The region is working on several large projects.
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Boulder Mayor Aaron Brockett and Chris McShane, Commuting Solutions Board Chairperson introduce the 2024 legislative transportation priorities at the 15th annual Commuting Solutions Legislative Breakfast on Jan. 9, 2024.

Commuting Solutions and the Northwest Mayors & Commissioners Coalition, or NW MCC, gathered on Tuesday for the region’s 15th annual legislative breakfast. The group heard and update on accomplishments in 2023 and a look to the future of local transportation from local industry leaders.

In 2014, the Regional Transportation District, or RTD, conducted a Northwest Area Mobility Study in which it partnered with local governments and Commuting Solutions. The study identified short-, near- and long-term transit benefit priorities including six arterial Bus Rapid Transit/Express Bus services and the completion of the Northwest Rail.

One project on the list was the CO 119 Safety, Mobility and Bikeway Project, designed to relieve highway congestion by expanding transportation options. One goal of the project is to cut down on congestion, emissions and potentially more crashes, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation website.

The project received a $25 million federal RAISE grant that allowed the project to begin in 2024. In total, the project is expected to cost $162 million.

Other 2023 accomplishments include RTD has continued its Northwest Rail Peak Service Study and engaging in conversation with BSNF and the US 287 Safety and Vision Zero Mobility Study was completed.

Gov. Jared Polis announced that this year’s legislative session will focus on transportation and affordable housing. 

“We really cannot accomplish housing goals or water conservation goals or climate goals without mechanisms that really create affordable, accessible multi-modal transportation to communities that work for everybody in our state that wants to live in that kind of community,” Polis said. 

Colorado Senator Faith Winter and Colorado Representative Meg Froelich finished off the breakfast by stating that local governments play a large role in creating innovative transportation options that allow for changes in other areas such as affordable housing. The legislators welcomed local governments to approach state government officials to find collaborative ways to make transportation policies throughout Colorado.