Move Colorado Policy Principle #1: Colorado’s state and local transportation system must be adequately funded.
- Do you believe the current transportation system is adequately funded?
47% of Colorado’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition. For my city, Colorado Springs, 45% or our roads are in poor or mediocre condition. The investment in Colorado’s transportation system is funded through a variety of sources, including the state and federal gas tax, which over the last 30 years, has not changed. We are up against a funding crisis as a result of the growing use of fuel efficient and electric vehicles.
- What are your priorities within transportation during the next 4 years?
- Implement ConnectCOS, Colorado Springs’ new long-term transportation plan, to meet the city’s growing and future transportation needs. The plan recommends about 160 projects, ranging from constructing and improving roads and sidewalks, to building trails, bike routes, and transit facilities.
- With the exponential growth of the city of Colorado Springs, traffic crime is also growing. Appropriately reducing vehicle lanes has proven effective in reducing vehicle speeds, reducing the frequency and severity of traffic accidents, and improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Support the Front Range Rail project as I believe it will help relieve traffic congestion along with fostering statewide planning and partnership. The city of Colorado Springs has conducted a study identifying a future station location in the event that the anticipated passenger rail plans materializes.
- What is your approach to using innovative financing tools for our transportation system?
I plan to research and explore innovative financing tools to help fund our much needed transportation improvements. As modeled by other cities and states, innovative financing is an important mechanism to help fund transportation projects by reducing capital cost and spreading the cash flow over a longer period of time.
Move Colorado Policy Principle #2: Colorado’s transportation system is – and should be – all modes working together.
- How do you define a balanced transportation system?
A balanced transportation system connects people, places, and priorities. As explained in Colorado Springs ConnectCOS, the city’s transportation plan, a balanced transportation system:
- Incorporates diverse and multimodal options, supporting the needs of all users in the many ways residents move across the city, including automobile, cycling, walking, and public transit (bus and rail). One-size does not fit all.
- Functions as a cohesive and integrated whole.
- Provides access to basic and essential functions such as schools, jobs, and healthcare
- Promotes the transport of goods and provides access to activities such as entertainment, recreation, and exercise.
- Integrates flexibility and adaptability to keep pace with innovation and changes in travel behavior.
- What elements of the transportation system will be your top priority in the next 4 years?
While Colorado Springs is a “car-dependent” city, there is increasing demand for public transportation to help meet the needs and demands of our growing community. Colorado Springs is predicted to overtake Denver as the state’s largest city by 2050 and the population of the Pikes Peak region is expected to be just over one million people in 2045, approximately 50% more than in 2015. This expected growth will produce demand for new travel and public transit options. We already have a transportation shortage, disproportionately affecting low-income households, seniors, residents with disabilities, as well as Millennials and Generation Z residents who choose not to own a vehicle.
The new ConnectCOS, Colorado Springs’ long-term transportation plan, proposes dozens of sidewalk, trail, and bike projects, and the Bike Master Plan promotes bicycling as one of many necessary transportation options. As the city grows, it is imperative that we pursue multi-modal transportation to include the strengthening of our sidewalk infrastructure, to make walking an attractive option, and improvement of our cycling infrastructure, to include new bike lanes and enhance bike parking infrastructure.
What elements of our transportation system will be a top priority in the long term?
- Improving the condition of our roads and bridges as over 45% or our roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
- Improving the safety of our roadways.
- The development of the front range passenger rail service to provide a new
travel option for the changing demographic public interest, reduce greenhouse gas emission, relieve traffic congestion, and foster statewide partnership.
Move Colorado Policy Principle #3: Colorado’s transportation system must embrace sustainability, environmental stewardship, and resilience.
- As Mayor of Colorado Springs how will you balance sustainability, environmental stewardship, and system resiliency while ensuring economic productivity through the movement of goods and services?
Colorado Springs is at a turning point in its history, particularly in regard to managing its recent growth, planning for the future, and providing the necessary infrastructure in terms of water, roads, transportation, public safety, and housing. As mayor, I will promote responsible growth, guided by intelligent and sustainable principles that strengthen our city infrastructure, so we can meet existing city demand and prepare for an expanding population. As we work to build communities and neighborhoods, I will lead in a socially responsible, environmentally sustainable, and economically prosperous way. And as we make decisions around mix-land use options, diverse housing opportunities, preserving our open spaces, and connecting our roadways, I will invite public participation and welcome diverse stakeholder input.
Move Colorado Policy Principle #4: Technology is rapidly advancing and will be a key driver in the future of Colorado’s transportation system.
- What is your vision for how technology can improve our transportation needs?
I envision a future-ready city that utilizes technology and data to solve the city’s most pressing issues, therefore, as mayor, I will elevate the work of the City of Colorado Springs Office of Innovation. Smart mobility is one of 5 pillars of the work of the Office of Innovation, which includes enhancing public safety, traffic flow, and improving mobility while reducing energy consumption and pollution. Projects include traffic sensors, electric vehicle readiness, battery electric buses, micro mobility scooters, traffic weather sensors to monitor snow depth/rain aggregation, and multi-model counters to count traffic patterns for optimization of routes and to help with traffic management.