The Colorado Department of Transportation is coming up with innovative solutions for everything from highway congestion to pedestrian safety.
Photograph by Ryan Dearth
This year, we’ve got a special valentine for CDOT. That’s because the department’s starting to work on solutions for reducing congestion on I-70 by transforming it into Colorado’s first “connected” highway, meaning cars can communicate about traffic and road conditions. The first phase of CDOT’s program involves a pilot project, launching this month, to test an app that relays info through cell phones. For example: When a car ahead of yours brakes, the app will alert you of the slowdown. (It’s kind of like Waze but with real-time data that’s largely generated by sensors—not user reports—so it’s more accurate.) This type of wireless platform has the potential to reduce accidents that don’t involve alcohol by up to 80 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Another reason why our affection for CDOT is growing: On February 27, staffers will begin reviewing innovative ideas, submitted by the public, to protect Colorado bikers and pedestrians. The winners of this challenge will receive grants from $10,000 to $150,000. We can’t wait to see what sweet thing CDOT does for us next.