Mirror Staff Report

COLORADO-When the railroad first roared through Western Colorado in the 1880’s, the onset of safe transportation to and from the region contributed to the settlement and growth of the communities that exist today. Now, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) aims to reinvigorate Colorado’s statewide transportation network with a plan that offers goals, objectives and solutions for implementation–as well as a statewide blueprint for a transit and passenger rail.

According to CDOT, the plan is designed to improve safety, mobility, maintenance and economic vitality, and has been prepared with public and stakeholder input. It identifies Colorado’s multi-modal transportation system as well as Transportation needs, revenue and funding gaps. The plan sets goals, and establishes timelines for meeting them.

“The Plan is a fully-integrated document, not only about improving the highway system but also about combining strategies to enhance transit, rail, aviation, freight, bicycling and pedestrian travel,” said CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt.   “It identifies the required strategic steps to achieve our goals and the priority corridors we need to focus on over the next decade.

“Public participation was crucial while we were developing these plans and is just as vital now during the comment period so they reflect the priorities and needs of our citizens,” Hunt said.  “As we implement the Plans, we’ll continue to engage the public on our progress so that we can all work together to deliver the transportation system Colorado deserves.”

More than 60,000 citizens participated in crafting the SWP, the STP, and all ten RTPs, according to CDOT.

“Our transportation system is a key element of a vibrant and globalized state economy, and transportation investments will create and enhance access to jobs, enhance freight movement, support increased trade, and improve economic competitiveness,” said Colorado Transportation Commission Chairman Ed Peterson.  “With limited funding available, CDOT has developed a vision for the Statewide Transportation Plan that guides investment for Colorado’s multimodal transportation system.”

As part of Colorado’s statewide plan, CDOT’s Division of Transit and Rail has been charged with development of a statewide plan for transit and passenger rail as well. According to CDOT, “The plan shall identify local, interregional, and statewide transit and passenger rail needs and priorities.”

CDOT hopes the statewide transportation plan will guide transportation improvements over the next ten to 25 years, according a news release issued by the agency last week. The draft Statewide Transportation Plan is now available for review and comment. Find Colorado’s first Statewide Transit Plan (STP) and the 10 rural Regional Transportation Plans (RTPs) at through Jan. 4, 2015