Highways and Growth
by Prof. Al Bartlett
This letter was published in the Boulder Daily Camera on May 13, 2008
Letter to the Editor
The Camera editorial "Planning Ahead" (May 6, 2008) reported that "Gov. Bill Ritter's blue-ribbon panel on transportation finance pointed out that Colorado needs at least $500 million a year to maintain existing roads and bridges." The population of Colorado is approximately 5 million. To meet this highway need would require that every man, woman, and child in Colorado to pay approximately $100 every year throughout the foreseeable future "to maintain existing roads and bridges." If additional roads and bridges are required to meet the needs of further population growth, then each person in Colorado will have to pay more than $100 annually.
The figures cited by the Governor's blue ribbon panel on transportation finance prove beyond any doubt that the recent population growth in Colorado has not paid for itself. The policy implication of the report is clear. Colorado should not be trying to get more people to move here. Instead, we would be doing a great service to Colorado taxpayers if we require that the growth pay for itself.
With best wishes, I am,
Albert Allen Bartlett
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