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Study suggests Colorado's massive need for road improvements could be costing us economically

Economic leaders say traffic gridlock could be driving businesses elsewhere
Study suggests Colorado's missive need for road improvements could be costing us economically
Posted at 4:07 PM, Mar 02, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS — The results of a study by a national transportation group suggest our state’s transportation system is in serious need of some TLC--and quickly.

Being stuck in traffic is something all too familiar to Colorado Springs-area commuter Ian McLeod.

“Definitely quite a bit,” McCleod said.

In his daily travels around the Colorado Springs area, he does a lot of waiting.

“Sometimes I find myself in three different light cycles,” he said.

But he’s far from alone.

“People are losing time and money away from their family, away from their jobs,” said Mike Kopp, President & CEO of the growup Colorado Concern--which describes itself as a “a statewide CEO-based organization devoted to investing in and promoting a pro-business environment through the political process.”

Kopp was among several panelists speaking at a virtual press briefing Tuesday to review the findings of a new report by the national non-profit group ‘trip.’ The group studies road systems and how they affect the communities around them.

“The key finding in the TRIP report is that Colorado is one of the fastest-growing states in the country, it’s going to need a significant boost to transportation funding,” said Rocky Moretti, TRIP’s Director of Policy & Research.

The report found, for drivers in Colorado Springs, the time spent in traffic is adding up.

“In the Colorado Springs area, traffic congestion is costing the average motorist $838 a year,” Moretti said.

The report detailed drivers in our area spend, on average, an extra 44 hours a year sitting in traffic, wasting 19 gallons of fuel annually too.

“Vehicle travel in Colorado is growing at the seventh highest rate nationally,” he said.

But the report found funding isn’t keeping up.

“As under-funded as our system is, and as many problems as our system has, we’ve been borrowing money,” said Tony Milo, the Executive Director of the Colorado Contractors Association.

The effects reach beyond the average driver.

“The costs to our community are significant.”said Rachel Beck, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC. “Transportation is one of the top two concerns that we hear about, both from our businesses that we are trying to attract to move to Colorado and bring new jobs here, as well as businesses that are already in the state that want to grow.”

It’s why leaders are calling for action.

“We’re urging our state legislators and our Governor to take action this year,” Milo said.