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Bill to change CDOT process for toll lanes introduced

Posted at 6:43 PM, Jan 29, 2019

COLORADO- An El Paso County lawmaker wants more steps taken before the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) designates a toll lane, high occupancy toll lane, or high occupany vehicle (HOV) lane.
These lanes are also known as ‘managed lanes’.

Senator Paul Lundeen (R-Monument) has introduced legislation asking CDOT to create a more extensive study- and only designate a managed lane if it is the best option for feasibility and safety.

In situations like the I-25 gap expansion, Lundeen says not enough was done to take the public’s opinion into consideration for a toll lane.

The gap project- ultimately became the motivation behind the bill.

‘We really need the government to be more responsible to the people that the government is designed to serve,’ said Lundeen.

Additionally, Sen. Lundeen’s bill is asking for the findings from the research to be readily available to the public online.

So far, other El Paso County lawmakers have put their name on the bill as co-sponsors including Sens. Bob Gardner (R-Colorado Springs and Dennis Hisey (R- Fountain), and Rep. Terri Carver (R- Colorado Springs) is listed as the prime sponsor in the house.

Lundeen says there has already been push back from administration and from colleagues across the aisle.
With full Democratic control, the bill will have a tough time making it out of committee.

‘The way some of this legislation is written suggests that we have to look at other alternatives other than a managed lane and then that may not always be the best solution,’ said Amy Ford, CDOT Director of Communications.

CDOT officials say the current system is comprehensive when it comes to determining the best course of action for major projects, such as the I-25 gap expansion.

‘When we look at how we plan for mitigating congestion in different corridors, we obviously have a very extensive public process that we use in how we engage the public as we look through alternatives, and managed lanes is part of those considerations on those projects,’ said Ford.

A committee for the bill isn’t scheduled yet.