In compliance with a state mandate requiring the transportation sector to reduce greenhouse emissions, the Denver Regional Council of Governments will vote on a new proposal next month that would stop planned expansions of Interstate 25 and C-470. This move will consequently divert $900 million from road expansions projects and instead finance climate-friendly improvements like pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.
Explaining further the shift of plans in the Denver’s transportation system, CPR News reporter:
The new proposal is meant to strike a balance between cars and making cleaner alternatives safer, faster and more convenient to encourage more people to use them, Papsdorf said.
DRCOG’s new plan for I-25 between Santa Fe Drive and downtown Denver would eliminate planned new toll lanes and instead prioritize improvements to transit, pedestrian and bicycle connectivity, and safety. DRCOG also wants to ditch a planned new toll lane on C-470 between Wadsworth and Interstate 70 and plans to minimize or eliminate planned widenings of a half-dozen arterial streets across the region.
The proposal would accelerate some bus rapid transit projects by a decade. Under the new plan, five “BRT” corridors would be completed by 2030: East Colfax in Denver and Aurora; East Colfax Extension between I-225 and E-470; Federal Boulevard; Colorado Boulevard; and State Highway 119 between Boulder and Longmont.
But some Denver-area highway expansions would remain the new long-term plan, including new toll lanes on Interstate 270 in Commerce City, I-25 north of Denver, and I-70 at Floyd Hill west of Denver. About a dozen urban arterial streets would still be expanded, too.