Here’s where local transportation funding is on the ballot in Colorado

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Jonathon Pira walks on a sidewalk in dire need of repair in his West Colfax, Denver, neighborhood, May 31, 2022. He’s an advocate for a ballot measure that would raise fees to fund the construction and repair of sidewalks across the city, and remove that responsibility from individual homeowners.

From sidewalks in Denver to roads in Colorado Springs to enhanced transit service in Eagle County, Colorado voters will have their say on a wide variety of local transportation issues this week.

Here are a few that we’re watching.

Sales tax increase for more and cheaper Vail Valley transit service

Local government officials in the Vail Valley are asking area voters to approve the creation of a new regional transportation authority and a tax increase to fund it. If approved, the measure would double the existing half-cent Eagle County sales tax that supports public transit. Backers say that would allow the new authority to expand transit service across the county, lower fares, offer more fare-free routes, and help convert existing bus fleets to low- and zero-emission vehicles. The local Republican Party chapter opposes the tax increase.

All the ballot measures and more | CPR's voter guide to the 2022 election

Property fee for sidewalk improvements in Denver

Transportation advocates want Denver voters to raise tens of millions of dollars every year for sidewalk construction and repairs. If approved, Initiated Ordinance 307, or “Denver Deserves Sidewalks,” would levy a new fee on property owners and shift sidewalk responsibility from property owners to the city. Advocates say the change would enable the city to build a complete sidewalk network in less than a decade, but the city has disputed that.

Local sales tax increases and extensions

Colorado Springs-area officials want voters to extend by 10 years part of the sales tax that funds transportation capital and maintenance projects, and public transit, through the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority. That would continue to raise hundreds of millions of dollars through 2034, the Gazette reports. Some opponents have criticized a perceived lack of transparency over which specific projects would be funded if the measure were approved. 

Cities and counties, including Boulder County, Englewood, Gunnison, and Wiggins, are asking voters to approve sales tax increases or extensions to fund transportation projects.