Transit money now in dispute |

Transit money now in dispute

The Front Range doesn’t just want more water. Now it wants more highway dollars, too. And who could blame the region for feeling shortchanged when transportation funding is going down and congestion is going up as yet another consequence of growth and sprawl rears its ugly head.

The Front Range has neither enough water nor asphalt to meet its needs. We’ve talked a lot about the water problem and the need to guard our agua. Now we need to guard what transportation dollars flow our way.

Specifically, the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) wants more highway dollars put into the Denver metro area. Surely, the region’s share of spending is going down, if you can believe that.

DRCOG may try to get the General Assembly to correct the trend.

That’s nothing but bad news to those of us who live in the sticks. Our roads face their own congestion problems, chiefly because Front Range visitors and second homeowners like it up here in Summit County. And when we cash paychecks, we like them.

Rural areas will never produce the tax revenue equal to their transportation needs. But if urban dwellers ever want to go anywhere, that’s the way it has to be.

Gov. Bill Owens is reported to oppose any moves to lock in transportation spending according to some sort of equitable formula. That’s a relief, considering how the governor so favors the Front Range with highway spending.

Locally, we face the prospect of the Frisco to Breckenridge Highway 9 widening project that could take up to 20 years to complete because of poor funding.

Improvements to Interstate 70 also face piece-meal scheduling because of short funding.

The Denver Post suggests the Denver metro area look at other funding mechanisms to hasten congestion relief, such as the creation of regional transportation authorities in the big counties.

DRCOG should point itself in that direction.

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