Issue Position: Transportation
Colorado's transportation needs have far outpaced critical upgrades, leading to frustrating congestion on our highways and presenting a serious threat to our quality of life. Since I was sworn in as a member of Congress, I have been working hard to secure critically needed transportation dollars for projects throughout the 2nd Congressional District. Such projects include the US 36 corridor between Denver and Boulder, I-70 west through the mountains, and the Jefferson and Eagle County Airports.
We need to take a multifaceted and long-sighted approach to solving our many transportation problems. We need to improve the condition and capacity of our roads, but we can't simply pave our way out of our transportation woes. That is why I support alternative transportation projects, like bus-rapid transit in the Roaring Fork Valley between Aspen and Basalt, lightrail transit projects in the Denver-metro area, and the award-winning HOP and SKIP service in Boulder.
We also need to ensure that federal regulations help rather than hinder our quality of life in Colorado, which is why I have worked to include language in recent aviation legislation that preserves the Jefferson County Airport's ability to maintain control of airport operations without federal interference. The citizens of Jefferson County should have the ability to decide what kind of air traffic is right for the airport and their respective communities.
Improving highway safety is a critical priority. That is why I have co-sponsored the Safe American Roads Act of 2007 (HR 1773), which would hold long-haul trucks arriving from Mexico to the same safety and inspection standards that the Department of Transportation requires for American trucks.
I have also been working to earn support for a program in the Federal Aviation Administration that would provide more security and better service at our mountain airports. Surveillance radar coverage is currently inadequate at our high mountain airports, especially given the ever-increasing number of visitors to our ski resorts and mountain towns. I support legislation that would remedy this by implementing so-called "Wide Area Multilateration" radar systems, eliminating the gaps in radar surveillance created in mountainous regions.
Finally, I have been working with other members of the Colorado Congressional delegation to secure funding for the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) Rail Tunnel Security Project. This project in Colorado would provide facilities for research and training to help keep tunnels and trains safe from potential terrorist threats. When completed, the center will draw transportation security experts from around the world as we seek to avoidor, at worst, respond tothe sort of attacks we saw recently in Spain and England. Our rails and tunnels are vulnerable, and keeping first responders well-trained and equipped will go a long way toward alleviating that vulnerability.