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Two transportation measures to fix roads fail. What's next for Colorado's roads?

Posted at 7:07 PM, Nov 07, 2018

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DENVER -- Colorado voters rejected two measures to fix the state's transportation needs this election.

Proposition 109 and Proposition 110 both failed by large margins.

"Everybody I know was on board with that," said voter Alexi Neal, who voted in favor of Prop. 110, the tax increase solution to fix the roads. "I would like our roads to be better and I think we have a group responsibility to work on that."

She believed it was time for all Coloradans to step up and pay up to fix the state's growing traffic woes.

"Everybody complains that traffic is getting worse, and it's like -- well, you don't get to complain if you didn't vote for that," said Neal.

"(I've) already paid enough in taxes, and don't want another tax," said Darlene Mendoza, who voted against both transportation measures. "I voted no because I believe there's other ways than tax increases to fund transportation."

Mendoza's sentiment was clearly felt by a lot of other voters who rejected the measures. She also said they were worded poorly on the ballot and were too complicated for the average voter to understand.

"The way they were worded, they're just not very clear," she said.

Both voters agreed there is a need to fix the state's roads, where they disagree is on the solutions.

"CDOT does have a $1.7 billion budget, but the vast majority is spent on maintaining the roads we have," said Amy Ford, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

Ford said CDOT doesn't have the money to fund all the projects needed around the state.

"We look very carefully at how we spread that peanut butter," she said.

With Democrats taking over the majority in both Colorado's House and Senate, Sam Mamet with the Colorado Municipal League said there could be light at the end of the tunnel from an unlikely source.

"The election's over now so we govern, and govern means reaching a consensus and working toward the middle," said Mamet.

He points to the recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to let states legalize sports betting and said transportation funding could come from that revenue in the future.

"We're going to see our state legislature enter into the fray on that and the question won't be so much whether to have sports betting, but where will the revenue from sports betting go," said Mamet.

Mamet also points out that voters will likely see another debt measure on the ballot again next year.

"The legislator passed in a bi-partisan manner a bond question that will be on the ballot a year from now. It's a $2.3 billion debt question for CDOT projects," he said.