Vail Daily’s view: Drivers should help fix roads
Vail, CO Colorado
Colorado’s roads are crowded and in rough shape, and those of us who wear them out should pay for the repairs.
We support the Democrats’ plan in the Colorado Legislature to raise car-registration fees by $32, beginning in July, to start fixing our roads and bridges. The fees, which would be based on weight, would apply to passenger cars and smaller sport utility vehicles and would increase to $41 in 2010 and then rise with inflation every year after that.
If the law passes, the state will start selling bonds on the revenues that will be collected from the fees so much-needed repairs can begin sooner rather than later.
But state Republicans are against the plan and want to look for money for roads in the state budget or get it from fees imposed on oil and gas drilling. Democrats counter that the GOP plan won’t raise the money need for all the necessary repairs.
Seems like GOP lawmakers, who often talk about accountability and personal responsibility, don’t think that extends to Colorado’s drivers. But we have to get over the idea that smooth roads are a Constitutional right. We think those of us who insist on pothole-free drives to Denver should help fill those potholes.
Beyond all that, the car fees are a pretty reliable revenue stream. Coloradans aren’t going to stop driving any time soon.
But we don’t like every new idea the state’s Legislature has for Colorado roads. The so-called “slowpoke” law seems kind of silly, potentially dangerous and even a waste of money.
The bill, which passed the state House on Monday, would require drivers going slower than the speed limit to pull over if five or more cars are stacked up behind them. Now, slowpokes drive us nuts, too, but crummy drivers who are afraid to go the speed limit don’t also need to worry about getting a ticket.
Moreover, we’ll have to put up a lot of signs notifying drivers of this law and maybe even build more safe places to pull over. That sounds kind of expensive when we need every penny to fix the roads for slowpokes and speed demons alike.