Will FasTracks Die On The Vine?

The regional FasTracks plans to improve the commute for many of us around the Boulder-Denver metro area has seen some struggles recently.

In a recent meeting of the group, Boulder Tomorrow, I listened to several local leaders and people in-the-know talk about what they saw as struggles for the FasTracks and commuter solutions plans for our area. I believe this has a very large impact on the values of Boulder real estate and property across the county.

An insight from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), shared by Ken Hotard of the local Boulder Area Realtors Association, was that NAR did a transportation survey that seems to indicate most Americans support public transportation options over new roads.

Call or email me if you want to explore what’s going on in our local area. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing so much about our community with people just like you, as a part of my real estate practice.

Other statistics from NAR show that less than 25% of Americans are in favor of building new roads, most typically oppose road building projects that solely focus on short term job growth, and also oppose using tolls to fund road building.

The group Boulder Tomorrow, which hosted this event, adopted a mission to promote the sustainable economic vitality of Boulder’s future.

I think that mission makes it clear that it’s a great group to watch and listen to when they put together these events, and consequently, I attend most of the presentations they have like this so I can bring you the current vital information you’re looking for about our area.

When discussing concerns over the rising cost and budget over-runs of the FasTracks program, John Taylor from Roche Colorado told us that of those polled about the program, 83% support the FasTracks completion, and 63% support a sales tax increase to finish FasTracks.

The FasTracks program could include several things for Boulder area commuters.

  • Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes
  • Dedicated HOV (high occupancy vehicle) or “hot” (toll-based) lanes like we already see on sections of I-25 and Hwy 36.
  • High-Speed (up to 70 miles per hour) Commuter Rail Lines in the North West corridor.

The commuter line running on existing Burlington Northern tracks would service the northwest area from Market Street Station in downtown Denver,up  through Louisville, Boulder (via the 30th & Pearl transit center), out north east to Gunbarrel,  and eventually terminating on the north end in Longmont.

One of the reasons we need to look at doing as much as we can to assure that we get the North West FasTracks program completed, is that it will likely bring a significant amount of economic growth to our area.

To use an existing corridor as an example, the two existing Denver transit corridors which were completed in recent years have seen $17 million in new construction projects including 14,000 residential projects and over 5,000 new hotel rooms.

There are six transportation corridors planned for our future in the Denver metro area. Research shows that we can expect an average property value increase of about 4% in these corridors (and up to an average of ~17% for properties within a 1/4 mile of the transportation corridor) once the transportation projects are completely up and running.

When you compare that to an approximate 7% decline in property values in the Denver metro area, I’d say finishing these projects is a great thing on many levels.

I’ll have more on this issue in future posts. In the meantime, if you, or someone you know, is thinking about a move, I’d love to have the opportunity to help. Call or email me now if you’d like more information on the local area and what’s really happening in the marketplace today!

Zachary Epps, RE/MAX Alliance Boulder’s full-time professional Realtor® and EcoBroker®

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… AND, you can FOLLOW THE LINKS I have for you on the right side of this page to find some great information. Please see my video tour section, to see tours of Boulder real estate for sale, business profiles, neighborhood profiles, and new development profiles. I want you to find exactly what you want, and get all the info you need. Call or email me now to get straight answers, and start the process of finding the perfect solution to your real estate needs.
-Zachary Epps, full-time professional Realtor® and EcoBroker®

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