One of the most dangerous stretches of highway in our state is I-25 in northern Colorado. We have a high rate of fatalities and the traffic during rush hour gets worse every year. This highway was completed in the 1960s – I remember driving to Cheyenne as a child and seeing nothing but farmland. Over 50 plus years, it has been widened to two lanes in each direction all the way to the Wyoming border. Although there are now confirmed plans to widen to three lanes each, we cannot have that be our only solution. The federal highway dollars have all but dried up, and expansion is not necessarily the best use of money when trying to solve this problem. We simply must come up with viable solutions in the now, not 20 years from now. This has to be a concerted effort with not only Larimer County, but every other community, and Weld County, who use this highway, along with the Governor, the Colorado Legislature, and our Congressmen and Senators.
I believe most advanced cities in the world excel at transportation because they can move masses of people from place to place with rail lines. We know rail will be expensive, but the costs will only continue to rise, and we cannot expand I-25 for infinity. There have been studies done, in collaboration with other communities, which have started the groundwork as to what it would entail to get rail lines. This work, from perhaps a decade ago, stalled. It is time to begin the conversations again, and work toward a long-term solution of building rail from Ft. Collins to Denver. As northern Colorado grows, the commute to Denver will one day be an absolute nightmare without securing other modes of transportation.
As getting rail to Denver is many years in the future, what we can do today is work towards additional expansion of bus routes all over northern Colorado. I believe as our area grows, buses will be an easy way for many to travel who do not want to fight the congestion on our roads. This also alleviates air pollution and is cost effective for many citizens. This is another area where collaborated efforts between ALL affected communities is a must.
Additionally, bicycles are a means of travel for those who live in close vicinity to their work. I think we could have a boon to some of our small towns by widening many of our single lane roads to add bike lanes. Many folks from Boulder County travel to Larimer County on their bicycles. What better way to boost our small town economies by having bike-friendly roads that will bring people from other counties to visit our coffee shops and other businesses? Expanding bike lanes is also much safer for those on bikes, as well as the drivers trying to avoid riders on single lane roadways.
Friends, we are going to need
your help! Thank you for your