Bicycling Matters: Getting bicycles into the state transportation plan
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is undertaking the update of the Statewide Transportation Plan for 2040.
I know, I know, who cares about 2040? It may sound like a long way away, but this plan helps set the priorities for spending the public’s $1.2 billion of state transportation funds each year as soon as next year.
The last statewide plan included nice words about encouraging bicycling and walking. But it did not include them in goals or measurements that matter. The result was no consistent state funding of bicycle and pedestrian projects and/or safety programs. It’s time to change that.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
People want more bicycle and walking options
CDOT is calling this planning process Transportation Matters. Their first step is to ask what the people want.
The preliminary results are in and drum roll, please…people want more bicycle and walking options!
Their open online survey asked,“What issue matters most to you?” The top answer in the five metropolitan areas was Increasing Bike/Pedestrian Options. In ten rural planning regions that option was second highest after Improving Roadway Pavement Condition.
Wait: It gets better. The next question was, “In light of today’s limited funds for transportation, what should be the focus of CDOT’s efforts?”
Again, metro-area residents’ top answer was Offer More Choices for Travel (Transit, Bike/Ped) and rural residents said to Maintain the Existing Transportation System and Make Safety Improvements.
Increasing transportation options like bicycling, improving safety and fixing existing infrastructure raced to the top of people’s advice to CDOT. This is a positive step, but only the first step of many to make sure that bicycling and walking are included in the plan—and the funding.
Now we need to work with CDOT to match the plan and spending with what people want. Stay tuned and we will let folks know of the next opportunity to weigh in.