Updated: Transportation ballot initiative could seek money only for local Colorado needs (copy)

In this Feb. 20, 2015, file photo, traffic comes to a standstill along Interstate 25, in downtown Denver. 

Bad news, Denver drivers: Freeway traffic isn’t clearing up anytime soon.

In fact, roads are only going to get more crowded with time, according to a new report by the Denver Regional Council of Governments.

The report, published this month, projects travel delays per resident could surge up to 56 hours annually by 2040, compared with the 33-hour annual delay commuters experienced in 2018.

And traffic jams aren’t cheap.

At the current rate, the total annual cost of delays will be nearly $3 billion by 2040, a spike from $1.6 billion last year.

One potential silver lining is the slight decrease in vehicle miles per capita from 2017 to 2018, despite the increase in the area’s population.

Explanations could be more folks telecommuting, bike-sharing and riding e-scooters, said Robert Spotts, the report’s author, in an interview with CPR.

Still, vehicle miles traveled on major roadways could grow by more than 40%, or 93.4 million, by 2040.

Denver city officials are working on a plan to reduce the number of trips by lone commuters by half and increase the number of people biking, walking or taking public transit by 15%.

State leaders also want to invest more in transportation, although several recent statewide ballot measures that would have funneled more money into new projects failed to pass.

In the coming weeks, Colorado will have another opportunity to decide if their tax money should be put into transportation projects when they vote on Proposition CC, one of two measures on the statewide ballot that will be arriving in their mailboxes this week. The election ends Nov. 5.

(1) comment


And how is "avoiding trips" a problem? We have congestion for four hours a day. Why build infrastructure for only 1/6th of the day?

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