Our rural highways need an upgrade | AspenTimes.com

Our rural highways need an upgrade

Dear Editor:

Some taxes are OK. For instance, the first federal gas tax, four cents, was levied by Congress during the mid-’50s for the express purpose of building the Interstate Highway System. Few objected to that, and after 38 years the last segment was completed in Glenwood Canyon in 1992. (Imagine not having an interstate highway system.)

Taxes applied to a specific goal are generally more acceptable to taxpayers. Highway user taxes (on gas, diesel, auto parts, etc.) have long been accepted by the public since funds raised go toward building and maintaining the roads we all use.

Hundreds of miles of rural state highways in Colorado, built during the ’30s and ’40s, need to be brought up to current standards. These roads are dangerous because they lack shoulders, guardrail, and often include poor alignment, inadequate sight distances, and intersections needing channelization. A five-cent raise in the fuel tax, hardly to be noticed with the present price of gas and diesel, totally dedicated to modernization of rural roads in Colorado, and properly presented to taxpayers could, very well, be accepted.

Rural highway users in Colorado need and deserve safer highways. If you agree, contact your legislators.

Dick Prosence