2018 Transportation

Our “On the Issues” pages draw from speeches, interviews, campaign websites, our candidate questionnaire and prior media coverage, including our own. These pages will continue to be updated.

Steve Barlock

On whether to ask voters for transportation funding: “After eight years of Governor Hickenlooper and his limousine liberal friends spending our tax dollars on everything and anything besides roads and bridges, I am confident I will be able to work in a bipartisan effort with the legislature to develop a transportation plan for roads and bridges which will be funded within the state’s current tax revenue.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Cynthia Coffman

On the issues, Coffman didn’t have a plan to fund transportation, potentially a huge issue for the next governor, but she’s working on it. She asked me, jokingly, if I wanted to join the campaign to help figure it out.” Joey Bunch, Colorado Politics

Lew Gaiter

On whether to ask voters for transportation funding: “I would prefer we first look inside the state budget and ensure there is not a reallocation of priorities which would obviate the need for additional taxes. After that we should further explore public/private/partnerships to see if that is a sufficient revenue source for CDOT projects. Failing to find sufficient resources within current revenue allocations, I would be open to asking the citizens of Colorado to consider helping us generate additional revenue from existing sources.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Noel Ginsburg

“Create a Statewide Planning and Development board with members from our transportation, housing, economic development, water, energy, and infrastructure offices, along with leadership from rural Colorado will ensure our infrastructure projects are coordinated across departments and are focused on creating the largest impact for communities across our state. For example, this board can unlock the benefits of affordable housing and economic development by creating mass transit systems that connect residents in affordable housing units to areas of high economic development. As our mass transit systems develop, Colorado can unlock opportunities like this not only within communities but between communities.” Noel for Colorado

On whether to ask voters for transportation funding: “Colorado has high infrastructure needs – current funds will only serve roughly 10% of our state’s needed infrastructure projects. There are many ways to raise funds for these projects – a new sales tax, vehicle miles travelled tax, income tax, gas tax on commercial diesel vehicles to name a few – but finding the right funding solution is something that should be collaboratively discussed. The hurdle to finding the funding should not be the state legislature – I absolutely believe we need more funding for these projects, but what that funding source looks like should inevitably be decided on through a collaborative process, and statewide vote.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Mike Johnston

On whether to ask voters for transportation funding: “If we are unable to meet our transportation needs – including multimodal solutions like mass transit and bicycle transportation – then we will have to invest more. This is why we propose going to the ballot to make changes to the fiscal knot is to make sure we can provide adequate funding not just for education but also for transportation infrastructure.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Cary Kennedy

In addition to fixing what we have, we need to invest in new systems that focus on choice, mobility, and sustainability. While highway improvements are needed, especially in rural Colorado, in the long term trying to “widen” our way out of traffic is expensive and inefficient. We can have a coordinated system of transportation options that includes high-speed and commuter rail, buses, bikes, van pools and ride shares that will allow us to reduce congestion, improve health, and protect the environment. And we can keep our system safe for the ever increasing number of drivers.” Cary Kennedy for Governor

On whether to ask voters for transportation funding: “Colorado needs additional investment in transportation. I’m very encouraged that local leaders are considering taking a transportation measure to voters this fall. I was the first Democratic candidate to release a comprehensive transportation plan that emphasizes choice, mobility and sustainability. I would support revenue sources that are sustainable, equitable, and enable our state to invest in multi-modal transportation options.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Greg Lopez

“Maintaining and improving the roads in our great state is vitally important to our economy. Every item that is purchased by every Coloradan is delivered by truck, which requires our states roads be kept safe by their maintained condition. The tourist industry in our state also demands that infrastructure be improved with an eye toward healthy commerce and return visitors. As Governor, I will review and advocate for ideas that I consider to be the best non-negotiable aspects of Colorado’s transportation health. With the current Governor’s 2018 budget sending Transportation dollars to the chopping block, I will never ignore or play politics with transportation. Today, those cuts put our transportation infrastructure and those who reply upon it, behind the proverbial “eight ball.” On my watch as your Governor, this will not happen.” Lopez for Governor

On whether to ask voters for transportation funding: “While, I recognize that it is appropriate to ask the voters if they would like to pay more in taxes to pay for transportation projects. I believe that it is the responsibility of elected officials to first exhaust all other options available and to properly evaluate the priorities within the state budget before asking Coloradans to give up more of their hard earned money for transportation.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Donna Lynne

Anyone who has spent time sitting in traffic on I-70, I-25, or many other roadways knows that we have real work to do. We need to address our funding challenges head on and build on the down payment Governor Hickenlooper and the General Assembly negotiated this past session with Senate Bill 267.” Donna Lynne for Colorado

On whether to ask voters for transportation funding: “As does Governor Hickenlooper, I support the responsible use of general fund dollars and additional revenue – whether that’s a gas tax, sales tax or other – from taxpayers as the only way to meet our dramatic transportation needs – $9B over the next decade alone.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Victor Mitchell

Watch Mitchell’s video explaining his transportation policy on his campaign website.

On whether to ask voters for transportation funding: “We can meet our essential transportation needs within current revenues by reducing C-DOT’s overhead, tapping existing pockets of revenue at the department and elsewhere in the state bureaucracy, and performance auditing to free up dollars from other state budgets.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Jared Polis

“We’ve all seen and felt the impacts of Colorado’s growth in recent years. Traffic makes commutes longer and more crowded. Taking a quick trip to the mountains on the weekend means preparing for hours of delays. For our mountain communities, that results in more wear and tear on I-70, more accidents, more pollution, and hours of gridlock, closure, and lost jobs. Making matters even more urgent, Colorado is expecting nearly one million new residents to move into our state in the next ten years alone , which equates to a 20 percent increase in vehicle travel. When you combine the expense of accidents, lost productivity, and dollars burned in travel delays, our transportation woes are already costing Coloradans more than $6.7 billion per year.  We simply can’t afford not to act!” Jared Polis for Colorado

On whether to ask voters for transportation funding: “Each Coloradan is already paying an average of more than $750 per year in lost productivity and car damage due to the poor conditions of our roads. My plan calls for fixing our crumbling roads and highways, bringing a high-speed rail to the Front Range to run from Fort Collins to Pueblo, and universal internet access in our rural communities. I will work collaboratively with the legislature to use existing dollars in the General Fund for transportation projects in a way that does no harm to the education of our children and the medical care of Colorado’s most vulnerable, I would be eager to do so. However, our $9 billion backlog of infrastructure projects that need immediate attention is only going to grow, as is our need for a new sustainable funding source.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Doug Robinson

On whether to ask voters for transportation funding: “If this question is asking ‘do I support increasing funding for transportation’ the answer is yes. If it’s asking ‘do I support raising taxes to fund transportation’ the answer is no. Only three times during Gov. Hickenlooper’s seven years in office did he request CDOT funding from the general fund. This is a failure of leadership, not a shortage of funding. We can fix our roads now and we can do it without raising taxes.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Walker Stapleton

“Our infrastructure problem in Colorado is a sad example of government losing track of its purpose: serving the taxpayers of our state. …Our transportation gridlock amounts to a hidden tax on all Coloradans, and fixing this issue is of the utmost importance, not only to our overall quality of life, but also to our state economy as a whole. As Governor, I will demand results from the Department of Transportation (CDOT). Our gas tax revenues have increased by over 30 percent since 1999. We should re-bond a portion of our gas tax revenue, as was accomplished successfully in 1999 without increasing Coloradans’ taxes by a dime. This simple fix will allow us to complete big projects, today, providing meaningful relief to the congestion we are all facing. CDOT has refused to make tough decisions to find room in their budget for ongoing maintenance, and keeps attempting to return to the taxpayers for more of your hard-earned dollars. As your Governor, I will remind CDOT that they work for you, and make them find the money in their existing budget. Solving big problems takes big solutions, and I will restore transparency and accountability to CDOT to ensure our tax dollars are being properly spent on projects for taxpayers, not special interests and bureaucrats.” Stapleton for Colorado

Erik Underwood

On whether to ask voters for transportation funding: “The money is already there, repealing Tabor will allow for funding of transportation initiatives including new stations rail up and down I-25 and more bus stations to our rural areas. It is not fair that Boulder County paid millions of dollars into RTD only to be told to take a back seat until the year 2042. Not on my watch, we will begin those projects in 2020 if I am elected.” —The Colorado Independent candidate questionnaire

Photo credit: Greg Goebel, Creative Commons, Flickr