||Regional Transportation Plan
||I am writing to express my support for the Jefferson Parkway and Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority. The proposed plan for the Parkway more than satisfies the criteria for reasonable prospects for funding. I applaud the Authority for thinking creatively about how to fund real transportation solutions that do not rely on limited state or federal funding.
According to a 2008 study by the Colorado Department of Transportation, completing the beltway will improve air quality standards in the region. The CDOT study clearly showed that a failure to act and solve connectivity issues in the region will result in traffic congestion and increased emissions. Construction of the Jefferson Parkway is the largest single step needed to provide a complete regional traffic system for the Denver metropolitan area. In simple terms the project is necessary to complete the 470 beltway around Metro Denver, fulfilling the goal of having a comprehensive transportation system in the region.
The project will provide needed access from the North and West regions of the Metropolitan area to other transportation corridors in the South and East. This access will reduce the traffic and congestion on the I-70, US-36 and I-25 highways, and balance our transportation loads throughout the metro region. In addition this project will provide a balance to the Fastracks projects which are also focused on lowering traffic demands and reducing the impacts of auto emissions.
The Denver Regional Council of Governments' own figures show the Denver metropolitan area will grow by approximately 50 percent over the next 20 years. Our region must have the infrastructure to accommodate the necessary connectivity in the region. This project supports the anticipated growth.
Motorists throughout our region are currently put at risk as a lack of a regional connection forces drivers to use roads that were never designed to carry the high volume they currently carry. Many of the roads that are currently being used as connectors to existing highway systems traverse neighborhoods, thus impacting citizen safety. Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink encouraged the completion of the Jefferson Parkway as the alternative that can provide a safe connection through the area.
The Parkway alignment was selected as the preferred alternative from among more than 70 regional connection alignments identified in the Environmental Impact Statement and reviewed by the Corridor Consensus Committee. There is no debate that the Jefferson County region needs a regional connection, and this alignment has been selected as the one that will make the most sense locally and for the Denver metropolitan region as a whole.
The Parkway supports the sustainable growth goals of the Metropolitan Denver Region, affording appropriate development opportunities, job creation, tax revenue generation, and most importantly a safe and reliable travel corridor for citizens and businesses.
I urge that you find that plans for the Jefferson Parkway comply with regional air quality standards and has reasonable prospects for funding.
Robert J. Osborn, Esq.
(if one submitted)