Tuesday, March 31, 2020

CARES Act signed into law; transit agencies to receive federal funds within seven days

The $2 trillion stimulus package signed into law on Friday, March 27 includes $25 billion for public transit agencies. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is providing transit agencies funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. The funding gives critical relief for agencies providing transit service for essential workers and people conducting essential activities at a time when fare revenue and local sales tax are down and cleaning costs are higher.

The $25 billion will be apportioned using the FY20 funding formulas and can be applied to operating costs related to the pandemic accrued since January 20, 2020.

Learn more about the public transit funding in the CARES Act at Mass Transit Magazine.

Coronavirus: Stay-at-home order drastically reduces traffic volume in Fort Collins

US287 at Conifer St in Fort Collins
Fort Collins traffic is down over 50% in Fort Collins since March 6, while traffic statewide is down 60%. The reductions in traffic point to compliance with the stay-at-home orders issued by the Governor and Larimer County. The reductions in traffic are well beyond the lighter traffic typically seen during spring break.

Larimer County's stay-at-home order is effective March 26 through April 17 and the statewide order is effective March 26 through April 11. The orders require residents to stay at home unless they need to conduct an essential activity or work at an essential business.

For more on the traffic impacts, read the Coloradoan article.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Greeley MSA third in population growth rate nationwide between 2018 and 2019

Image credit: City of Greeley
Northern Colorado is growing fast and Greeley is leading the way. The US Census Bureau has released 2019 population estimates for Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) across the nation and the Greeley MSA ranks third. The Greeley MSA, encompassing all of Weld County, grew by 3.1 percent, from 314,815 on July 1, 2018 to 324,492 on July 1, 2019. While Weld County does include several fast-growing communities near the Denver region, over one-third of its population resides in Greeley. The Greeley MSA was behind only the St. George, Utah MSA and the Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina-North Carolina MSA for one-year growth. Over the last decade, the Greeley MSA ranks sixth nationwide.

Read more from the Greeley Tribune

Freight keeping supply chain moving amid coronavirus crisis

Truck on SH14 at I-25 - Coloradoan archives.

Usually operating behind the scenes, the freight system in the U.S. has been deemed essential during the coronavirus epidemic. This has meant truck stops across the country are staying open but adapting to varying local restrictions. Delays in take-out or dining options may delay the delivery of important supplies and food. Some rest stops in Colorado have been closed for sanitary reasons, specifically near Pueblo without running water. State officials have been working with the Colorado Motor Carriers Association (CMCA) to address issues and ensure vital freight can keep moving.

Read more in this post from the Denver Post.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Emptier roads can still be dangerous if you don't drive safely

Image Credit: Flickr
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reminds drivers to continually drive safely even when there is less traffic on the roads. CDOT reports that there have still been an increasing number of crashes and urges drivers to keep safe driving practices at a time where the State’s medical system is stretched thin.

For updates on Statewide Traffic Safety and more information see CDOT’s News page.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Transit and resources amid Corona Virus in Larimer and Weld

There have been significant changes to the transportation system in Northern Colorado as a result of the Coronavirus/CoViD-19. This list will be periodically updated as more information is known.
  • Transfort has gone fare free as a way to keep drivers safe and healthy. Routes are operating on a normal schedule, but people are advised to avoid riding unless absolutely necessary. Transit centers have been closed, but Customer Service Representatives are manning the phones. More information is available from the City of Fort Collins.
  • Greeley Evans Transit will begin operating Call-n-Ride only service on Wednesday, March 25. A press release from the City of Greeley states hours will be extended, but no fixed route or Poudre Express trips will operate until further notice. Trips can be scheduled one day in advance and must be for essential purposes: medical, grocery, and work. More information is available from City of Greeley.
  • COLT is operating on a normal basis, expect peak period trips not operating due to Thompson School District's break. More information is available from City of Loveland.
  • Bustang is operating normally on the North Line but has advised of increased cleaning efforts. Snowstang is suspended for the rest of the season. Bustang has suspended service through April 11 on all lines as of March 28. More information is available from Bustang
In case of need, multiple resources are being catalogued across the region.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Transfort going fare-free during Covid-19 outbreak

Fort Collins is suspending fare collection on all Transfort-operated routes, including MAX, FLEX, and local routes. The fare collection suspension is indefinite, lasting through the COVID-19 outbreak. Although fares won't be collected, Transfort is asking only essential rides be taken. Riders should use the back door unless they are using a mobility device.

For more information, keep up-to-date with the Transfort website and read the article in the Coloradoan.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

NFRMPO staff to work from home starting 3/19

The NFRMPO office will be closed to the public, and staff will be working from home starting on March 19, 2020. The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), Larimer County Mobility Committee (LCMC), Senior Transportation Coalition/Mobility and Access Priority Group (STC/MAPG), and Planning Council meetings will be held virtually using Free Conference Call, phone numbers and website are included in meeting materials. If you have any questions, concerns, etc. please contact NFRMPO staff by email, available at nfrmpo.org/staff.

We will keep this post updated as more information becomes available. Information from the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment, the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are providing updates on the virus, including ways to stay health and what to do in case you have symptoms.

“Focus on driving”: Drivers responsible for safety in both sunny and snowy weather, traffic safety officials say

Image Credit: Flickr

In 2019 there were 51 traffic fatalities in Weld County, at least 10 of which occurred during bad weather. A spokesperson from AAA Colorado states that although crash rates tend to increase during the winter months and during adverse weather conditions, these crashes are less likely to result in a fatality.

Though driving too fast for the conditions is a concern during the winter months, distracted driving was the number one cause of crashes in Greeley in 2019, emphasizing that drivers must consider how their actions effect themselves and others during all types of weather.

For the full story and a list of winter driving tips, read the full story on the Greeley Tribune.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Johnstown to vote on transportation funding, mayor’s role and broadband

On April 7, Johnstown voters will decide on Issue 1A, a ballot issue for a 0.5% sales and use tax increase to fund street and sidewalk maintenance. The Town has identified $18M in maintenance needs that would be funded by the increase, with an expected annual revenue of $2.1M in the first year. The list of projects includes maintenance to two of the Regionally Significant Corridors within the North Front Range region: Colorado Blvd and Parish Ave.

If the ballot issue passes, the Street Maintenance Fee instituted in 2016 would be eliminated. For more information on the ballot issue, read the article in the Loveland Reporter-Herald.