Transform Transportation

Maximize transit options before adding new lanes to Pena Boulevard

With public comment closing today on a proposal to invest $5 million into new lanes to DIA, CoPIRG is calling for a prioritization of transit.

In response to the Denver Regional Council of Government’s (DRCOG) call for comments on potential 2024-2027 Transportation Improvement Program investments, CoPIRG opposes a proposed $5 million allocation to new lanes along Pena Boulevard.

Our region must first maximize the transit options that service Denver International Airport (DIA) before any new lanes are considered.

DIA is in a unique position to support a better regional transportation system that gives people options while reducing air pollution. It is one of the largest employers in Colorado with 35,000 employees and has a foundation of transit options from the A line to numerous existing and potentially new bus routes. We have lots of opportunities to move more people without needing to move more cars.

Across seven editions of our Highway Boondoggles report, we’ve highlighted how new lanes recruit new cars. These huge investments don’t result in promised congestion relief and do result in increased emissions at a time when our region is in “severe” nonattainment for ozone pollution health limits.

DIA and Pena Boulevard have an outsized influence on the whole region’s transportation system given the number of trips to the airport and the distance that so many people travel – no one lives there. Therefore, the new cars recruited by new lanes on Pena Boulevard will have an outsized impact on the region’s interstates and our local roads. We do not need more cars merging onto congested I-25, I-270, I-225 and I-70 to get to and from DIA. We do not need more cars speeding down our local streets where our kids play or our main streets where we shop and eat.

We must first maximize every transit option we have before we recruit more vehicles onto our roads.

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