President's Message

Tony DeNovellis
President and CEO

Partnerships for safety

Residents and visitors alike enjoy Colorado’s sites and sights. While our state has numerous regional airports, many of us typically travel in-state via cars, pickups and motorcycles.

Those of us who live in urban areas appreciate the open horizons east of I-25 as well as the mountains, streams and red rocks to the west of it. However, what we often take for granted as we travel is the condition of our roadways, and the proximity to first responders as we drive on two-lane roads.

AAA Colorado recently participated in the Rural Traffic Safety Summit held in Montrose. Of Colorado’s 64 counties, 53 are classified as rural. Or as one summit participant put it, “We’re so rural, we’re frontier!”

Have a look at the traffic safety issues faced by all Coloradans, yet these issues are multiplied in rural areas:

Transportation is the key to our state’s quality of life as well as its economic strength. We need continued investments in roadways and bridges throughout the state, rural and urban.

According to findings of the Colorado Transportation Finance and Implementation Panel, our road system is aging across the state. Roads built and designed to last 20 years have now been in use for 70 to 100 years. Some interstate sections here were built in the first year of the Kennedy administration. Currently 40% of our roads are in poor condition and 205 need a total reconstruction. There are 115 bridges here older than 75 years, and 126 bridges that are structurally deficient. State population projections show another 1.2 million residents in a decade, putting additional pressure on this aging system.

Fortunately, we have strong traffic safety partners in the rural communities. Those citizens know the members of their communities and a traffic death is often a friend or neighbor, not a statistic. These communities are strong and they’ve learned through experience that improvements can be accomplished through working together. The rural desire to “make our own decisions” has often led to smart traffic-safety policy such as enhanced enforcement of traffic laws, improved roadway design, and citizen education.

Rural Coloradans know that to improve traffic safety they’re in it for the long haul. AAA Colorado wants them to know that we’re in it with them.

Tony DeNovellis
President and CEO

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