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Colorado's Anti-Transportation Policy

Colorado's Anti-Transportation Policy

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Published by: Independence Institute on Aug 01, 2011
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Colorado's Anti-Transportation Policy
December 31, 2002Issue Backgrounder
ByDennis Polhill, Matthew Edgar
The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) recentlyupdated its Metro Vision 2020 Regional Transportation Plan.Although their transportation agenda is not directly stated, hintsare revealed in their rhetoric. One stated mission is to offer a'variety of travel opportunities.' As with all rhetoric this is a niceand non-agitating statement that no one would readily disagreewith. But what does it really mean? A close look at their reportreveals facts seen by few and understood by fewer.
Travel Demand
(Person Trips)DRCOG predicts a 48% increase in travel demand by 2020 in theDenver Metro area:
Source: DRCOG Metro Vision 2020, Regional Transportation Plan, page 107 
Transportation Investment
(Billions of Dollars)DRCOG inventoried all sources and applications of transportationfunding through 2020 and discovered that $9.63 billion of $16.93billion (58.9%) will go to mass transit (buses and light rail). Therest of DRCOG's money will go to all other forms of transportation, including, among other things, roads, bike paths,and sidewalks.
Source: DRCOG Metro Vision 2020, Regional Transportation Plan, page 107 
Market Share
(Percent)
 
DRCOG predicts that mass transit's share of all trips will growfrom 1.53% to 2.23% in 2020, meaning that transit willaccommodate just 4.04% of the new trips. Thus, if DRCOG'snumbers are accurate the benefit of applying 59% of transportation funding to mass transit will be a 0.7% increase inmass transit's market share.
Source: DRCOG Metro Vision 2020, Regional Transportation Plan, page 101.
Summary and Conclusion
DRCOG's 'transit plan' will nearly double severe freewaycongestion by 2020. How can such a plan be acceptable? Is itbecause DRCOG dictates a single view, as NO information isprovided in their plan about costs, benefits, or critical analysis of potential competing alternatives that might offer more mobility atless expense? DRCOG's approach is like saying, 'I like blue.' Thestatement reveals nothing about green, yellow, or red.DRCOG's failure to offer analysis of other alternatives, which cancompete with each other on the basis of costs and benefits, raisesserious doubts about DRCOG's objectivity, allowing pro-transitideologues and pro-transit lobbyists to use the power of government to force their preconceived (and ill-conceived) agendaupon others and upon the political process.[1]Copyright 2002, Independence InstituteINDEPENDENCE INSTITUTE is a non-profit, non-partisan Coloradothink tank. It is governed by a statewide board of trustees andholds a 501(c)(3) tax exemption from the IRS. Its public policyresearch focuses on economic growth, education reform, localgovernment effectiveness, and Constitutional rights.JON CALDARA is President of the Institute.

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