Metro Denver traffic is bad and getting worse, new report says

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DENVER — Traffic in the Mile High City is bad and is getting worse, according to new local transportation study.

The Denver Regional Council of Governments’ new study shows that the number of miles vehicles travel on a regular basis has increased 15 percent in the last five years, but that growth has slowed in the last year.

More than 116,000 people have moved to the city and county of Denver since 2010. During the same time period, the entire metro area grew by more than 300,000 to about 2.9 million.

If the current growth patterns continue to 2040, the DRCOG forecasts it’ll cost people in the region both money and time.

The study also forecasts that travel delays per person would increase 72 percent and the yearly cost of the delays would jump 87 percent.

“We’re relatively congested,” said Ron Papsdorf, DRCOG’s director of transportation, planning and operations. “We’re projecting more congestion as we continue to grow over the next 20 or 30 years. That also means we have an opportunity to plan for it.”

That planning, from the city of Denver, includes more bike lanes and dedicated bus lanes to speed up public transportation. In many places, that also means fewer lanes for other drivers.

The goal of the programs is to get people to use alternative forms of transportation, so there’s less traffic congestion for everyone.

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