CDOT calling residents about transportation concerns

The Colorado Department of Transportation will conduct two telephone “town halls” next week, offering forums for citizens who live in the rural and urban areas of Larimer and Weld counties to discuss regional transportation issues.

The calls to rural residents will begin at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 21. Upper Front Range residents will be called at random through an automated system and invited to participate in the telephone forum, and those who don’t receive a call but are interested to take part in can dial in, toll-free, at 1-877-229-8493, PIN 112034.

The calls to urban residents will be at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 22. This call is for Coloradans who live in Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland, Berthoud and the surrounding area. People can dial in at the same number with same PIN to join the telephone forum. Participants can ask questions and talk about any kind of issues related to transportation in the area.

Some of the top issues that have been raised over time are congestion and connectivity, said Bob Wilson, CDOT’s communications manager. He said that he anticipates discussions on widening Interstate 25, reconstruction of highways and other improvements due to flood damages, and future transit with buses and rail lines.

Kathy Gilliland, Colorado’s transportation commissioner, said her biggest concerns since being appointed to the commission continue to be aimed at the state and federal pies for transportation funding that are shrinking rapidly during a period in which Colorado is experiencing continued growth, congestion and higher maintenance costs.

“Because of this, we must look at innovative solutions for new capacity on our highways and interstates including public-private partnerships,” Gilliland said. “I’m also brainstorming with local leaders to help deliver solutions for added capacity on I-25 from Denver to Fort Collins, including an Express Bus service.”

CDOT will host telephone town halls for residents in all 64 counties through June, anticipating thoughts and discussions on how CDOT should use its limited funding to improve the link between transportation and the economy and weigh in on regional priorities.

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