If a Colorado state lawmaker gets her way, city and county
governments in the state would be prohibited from entering into non-compete
agreements with toll road companies.
Rep. Gwyn Green, D-Golden, said her bill is intended to
prevent the state from hampering traffic on free roads in order to divert
traffic onto toll roads, often referred to as “gridlock by design.”
“Intentionally clogging up free roads paid for with tax
dollars in order to force drivers to pay for toll roads is outrageous,” Green
told the Rocky Mountain News. “Toll roads should sink or swim on their
The effort comes as the Colorado Department of
Transportation studies whether to complete the Denver metro beltway as a toll
road. The route would go through Green’s hometown on Colorado 93 and U.S. 6.
CDOT opposes the bill. The agency said non-compete
agreements could be essential to selling bonds for future toll roads.
“The bottom line is that it would make the bonds very
difficult to market,” CDOT chief Tom Norton told the newspaper. “In some cases,
where free roads are designed to take people to and from the same points as a
toll road, they would use the free road to avoid the toll.”
The bill – HB1116 – is in the House Transportation and