COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - America the Beautiful Park seems an unlikely place to have a news conference about poor road conditions in Colorado.
But that's what happened Wednesday in Colorado Springs.
Carolyn Bonifas Kelly, a researcher with Washington, D.C.-based TRIP, a national nonprofit transportation group, joined Chamber of Commerce President Dirk Draper to talk about the release of a TRIP report.
The report states that Colorado lags far behind other states in funding improvements for streets, roads, highways and bridges.
"We're not as good as leading Western states like Utah, and only New Mexico is worse than we are," Draper said. "The report looked at things such as road quality, safety and traffic congestion."
Draper said the situation is serious enough that area businesses and industries are losing money because of the added costs and time of transporting materials.
"Advanced metal manufacturer Qualtek tells us they can no longer count on making Front Range deliveries in a single day," he said. "They have to time their staff to work off-hours at times, to make those deliveries in a timely way, and to avoid gridlock on I-25."
What may surprise many Colorado Springs-area people, according to the report, is the situation costs the average driver nearly $2,000 annually.
"These costs include higher vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on rough roads, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of congestion and the financial cost of traffic crashes," Kelly said.
Because the report used 2015 data, it doesn't include recent local projects such as the 2C expanded paving effort and the interchange improvement at Interstate 25 and Cimarron Street.
Mayor John Suthers said he agrees that the state needs to make more progress, but at least the city is doing what it can to improve overall road conditions.
The goal of the report is to remind and emphasize the need for progress to elected leaders and state lawmakers.
Charlotte Magill, a Fremont County resident, agrees with the report's recommendation for more progress in transportation projects.
"They need to look forward 30 years." she said. "I'm a forward thinker. The state should be, too."
The report is titled "Colorado Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State's Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility."
To read the report, visit: http://tripnet.org.