Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Downtown Streets

Safety, walkability, transportation, and aesthetic design are all important components of planning a downtown commercial area, whether in a large city or a small town. Downtowns and “Main Streets” can, if well planned, boost tourism and enhance quality of life for residents. Therefore the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Colorado Department of Transportation teamed up to produce the guidebook Colorado Downtown Streets: A Tool for Communities, Planners, and Engineers, which you can view online from our library. The agency partners provide the following summary:

Great streets are more than infrastructure: they are the fundamental building blocks of successful communities. [Colorado Downtown Streets is] designed to help local leaders, community members, and technical professionals work together to transform their streets into safe, accessible, and vibrant places.

Use this guidebook to learn how well-planned streets can promote health, increase tax revenue and property values, attract tourists, and contribute to the life of the community by giving the city or town its own identity. Design considerations, such as bike lanes, traffic flow patterns, on-street parking, landscaping, lighting, and signage, are provided along with examples from towns and cities around the state. Tips for planning, implementing and funding are also provided, as are tools for enhancing “placemaking” and revitalizing historic areas.

To supplement the guidebook, a webinar and several companion videos were created, which you can view here. The guide was published as a component of the Colorado Main Street Program, which you can learn more about on the Department of Local Affairs’ website. You can also find more resources from state agencies about city planning and transportation by searching our library’s online catalog.


Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The WPA in Colorado

During the height of the Great Depression, as banks failed, unemployment soared, and farm prices dropped, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was established as one of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal projects. The WPA focused on creating and providing jobs rather than handing out direct relief. Most of the WPA jobs were aimed at civic improvements, such as public buildings and roads. Thousands of out-of-work artists and artisans, architects, musicians, writers, historians, and others who had previously been employed in creative or intellectual fields were given temporary work. Parks, trails, bridges, public buildings, artworks, and literary projects produced by the WPA continue to be enjoyed to this day.

Colorado’s division of the WPA issued The WPA Worker: A Monthly Pictorial Journal for Workers and Citizens of Colorado Interested in the Statewide Projects of Works Progress AdministrationIssues from 1936 and 1937 have recently been digitized by our library. Each issue of this amazing periodical highlights WPA projects in all corners of the state. These included many construction projects like public buildings, roads, bridges, stadiums, and parks, but also included such varied activities as

As Coloradans suffered from the effects of the Great Depression, the WPA enhanced life in every part of the state, and often undertook long overdue projects that in many cases would not have been otherwise completed. Many of the projects continue to enhance our lives today.

For more resources on the WPA in Colorado, see the following publications available from our library:

Aguilar’s city hall was constructed by the WPA.


The playground at Lake Junior High in Denver was also a WPA project.


Old infrastructure was replaced across the state.
Colorado State Publications Blog

Auto Theft Prevention Resources

Motor vehicle theft is on the rise, according to statistics from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. There were 22,206 cases of auto theft in 2017, a 72{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} increase from 2014! Less than half of the vehicles were recovered. And vehicle break-ins are one of the most common types of property crimes in Colorado.

So what can you do to help protect your vehicle from theft or break-in? What should you do if one happens? And if you’re buying a used car, how do you make sure it’s not stolen?

The Colorado State Patrol has put together a helpful list of resources to answer these questions. The list includes links to information and tips from insurance groups, government agencies, and auto associations about how to protect yourself. Also included are links to auto prevention authorities in other states, since stolen vehicles frequently cross state lines. Resources like a VIN Decoder are also provided to help you verify if a car you wish to purchase had been stolen. You’ll also find links to neighborhood crime reports to help you find out about crime rates in your area, since one third of all vehicle thefts occur at the owner’s home.

You can also find helpful information at, a website sponsored by the Colorado Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA), a division of the State Patrol. See this publication to learn about what CATPA is doing to reduce vehicle thefts in Colorado. Statistics and information is also available in their annual report.

Did you know that the highest number of vehicle thefts occur between 6 and 9 a.m.? This may be because drivers often leave their cars idling and unattended on cold mornings. There are many things you can do to help reduce the risk of having your car stolen or vandalized, so check out these handy resources to help increase your awareness.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The Dotsero Train Wreck

110 years ago today occurred one of the state’s worst train disasters. On January 15, 1909 at 9:47p.m., a westbound Denver & Rio Grande passenger train collided with an eastbound freight train just outside of Dotsero, in Eagle County. Apparently the engineer of the passenger train had been confused about the time his train was ordered to depart. Twenty people, mostly passengers, were killed instantly in the head-on collision; another five succumbed to their injuries within a week of the accident. Thirty others were also injured.

The Dotsero disaster, along with several smaller wrecks and derailments occurring that same year, caused the Colorado Railroad Commission to examine railroad safety laws and pursue legislation for increased railroad safety. You can read their report and recommendations online, courtesy of our library. This report includes some unfortunate statistics – in all of the 1909 accidents combined, thirty-five passengers lost their lives and seventy-six were injured. That’s not even counting railroad employees or individuals who were trespassing on railroad tracks. If those numbers are taken into account, a total of 113 persons were killed that year, and 116 injured.

You can read more about the state’s investigation of the Dotsero wreck in the Biennial Report of the State Railroad Commission, another publication which as been digitized by our library. The state Railroad Commission eventually became the Public Utilities Commission, which still exists today, overseeing rail and transit safety alongside other utilities such as energy and telecommunications. Annual/biennial reports of both commissions from 1907 through 1930, as well as more recent reports, can be viewed online from our library. Finally, be sure to search the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection for some fascinating digitized newspaper articles about the Dotsero disaster.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Transportation Network Companies

How does the State of Colorado regulate digitally-networked transportation companies like Uber and Lyft? The Colorado Legislative Council has just published a new Issue Brief that explores this topic. Here you can learn about the many differences between transportation network companies (TNCs) and traditional taxicabs, including driver requirements, safety inspections, and how the companies set their rates. For more information on rules and regulations for transportation companies, see the Colorado Public Utilities Commission website.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Constructing Vail Pass

Colorado’s ski industry depends on transportation along I-70. What would your drive to the slopes be like if it weren’t for Vail Pass?

Charles D. “Charley” Vail was the visionary behind the pass, and it – along with the town and ski area – bears his name. Director of the state’s Department of Highways from 1931 to 1945, Vail proposed the route, but construction didn’t start until 1975, thirty years after Vail’s death. Construction took three years, and the result is one of Colorado’s engineering marvels.

According to a local magazine, Vail Pass was built with “the first bridge span in the country built with pre-cast concrete (with sections ferried from Denver), erosion-resistant landscaping (including a unique retaining wall designed by architects from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West), the state’s first separated bicycle path over a mountain pass, and the first solar-heated rest area in Colorado.”

Our library collection includes a number of Highway Department documents concerning the construction of Vail Pass, and the various engineering challenges they faced. Some of these resources have been digitized by our library, including:

Also, a report on the solar-heated rest area is available for checkout from our library, as is a DVD of a 1978 promotional video, Vail Pass: A Highway in Harmony with its Environment.

Before-and-after aerials of Vail Pass, from I-70 in a Mountain Environment (1978)
Colorado State Publications Blog

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

Whether from drinks, drugs, or distractions, impaired driving is a serious hazard that puts lives in danger. Here are some resources from the State of Colorado that can help you learn about the hazards of driving impaired and how to stay safe:







Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Motor Vehicle Law Resource Book

Colorado Legislative Council, the nonpartisan research branch of the General Assembly, has just updated their Colorado Motor Vehicle Law Resource Book. This handy online guide can answer many of your questions about Colorado’s various motor vehicle laws. Among the topics covered are

  • taxes and fees
  • chain laws
  • distracted driving laws
  • HOV and express lanes
  • emissions
  • photo radar and red light cameras
  • titling and registration
  • minor drivers
  • commercial vehicles
  • low-power scooters and electric bicycles

and much more. You can find further information on Colorado motor vehicle laws by visiting the Transportation & Motor Vehicles section of Legislative Council’s website and the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division of Motor Vehicles website. Also, search our library’s online catalog for additional resources.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Tips for Flying Drones in Colorado

Whether for fun or for business, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly known as drones, are a hot new tool that’s growing in popularity. But before you set your drone in flight, you should be aware of safety precautions, laws and regulations, and insurance information.

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s website contains a helpful webpage, Fly UAS Responsibly. Here you’ll find tips, resources and FAQs for all types of users, including recreational and commercial, as well as tips and information for airport personnel.

Drone users should have insurance. If your drone crashes into someone’s home, you are responsible, according to the Colorado Division of Insurance. Check out these five tips from the Division about how to get your drone covered.

Situations may differ depending on where you’re flying your drone. You can find helpful tips from the Colorado Department of Agriculture in their video Flying Drones in Rural Areas.

For a summary of state laws and regulations on UAS, see the Colorado Legislative Council’s Issue Briefs on Unmanned Aircraft System Regulation and Drone Use and Regulation in the Public Sector Finally, see these safety tips from the Colorado Department of Public Safety. You can also learn more about drones at Colorado State University’s Drone Center.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Traffic Data

As more and more people move to Colorado, we all spend a lot more of our time sitting in traffic. Colorado’s highways were constructed in the mid-twentieth century, when the population was much lower. So how does your daily commute compare with a half-century ago?

In 1971, the Colorado Division of Highways released Traffic Volumes on Urban Freeways in Colorado, a report containing graphs and charts with average weekday traffic volumes for Colorado’s highways. You can compare these numbers to the current traffic volumes, which are available in the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Online Transportation Information System (OTIS) database, for some pretty amazing results!

Colorado State Publications Blog

How Geology Helped Build the Moffat Road

Our library recently received a fascinating new document for our collection that will be of interest to historians researching Colorado’s railroads as well as to those interested in our state’s geology and mineral resources.

Exactly one hundred years ago, in 1918, a special committee of the Denver Civic and Commercial Association asked State Geologist Russell George to produce a report of the mineral resources that could be found in the Northwest Colorado region of the Denver and Salt Lake Railroad, known informally as the “Moffat Road.” The committee, led by Denver Tramway Company president William Gray Evans, was interested in “the extent and location of the deposits of coal, oil shales, hydrocarbons, and other minerals of economic value…to be used by [the] Committee to make clear the public advantage and public necessity for the completion of the Denver and Salt Lake Railroad — the “Moffat Road” — and its main range tunnel.” In other words, Evans — one of the major promoters of the Moffat Tunnel after the 1911 death of its namesake, David Moffat — wanted to use this report as justification for the railroad and tunnel through the mountains, construction of which would be no easy task.

George and the Colorado Geological Survey provided Evans and his colleagues with a thorough description of the area’s resources, the most prominent being coal — the mining of which was one of the state’s major industries during this era. George’s narrative is bound together with three large foldout maps. One map shows the Road’s route and proposed tunnel location alongside existing (supposedly inadequate) rail lines. The second map details the area’s coal resources, and the third map points out locations of other mineral resources, including copper, molybdenum, tungsten, carnotite, gold, and oil and gas.
Evans and his colleagues were likely very pleased with the report, because George concluded that “the industrial value of many million dollars’ worth of useful mineral deposits depends largely upon the quick completion of the railroad enterprise, including the proposed tunnel through the main range.” However, it would be nearly a decade before the Moffat Tunnel finally opened in 1927. Evans didn’t live to see the tunnel’s completion; he died in 1924.

This document is an incredible primary source for anyone researching Colorado’s railroad history. Although it is not presently available online (the large size of the maps would make this difficult), anyone is welcome to come and view the document here in our library. Search our library’s online catalog for many more resources on Colorado’s history, geology, and transportation.

A D&SL train near Kremmling in 1928. Photo by Otto Perry courtesy of Denver Public Library Western History & Genealogy Department.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Highway Work Zone Safety

Did you know that since 1929, sixty Colorado highway workers have lost their lives in the line of duty? The most recent fatality, that of Nolan Olson in southwestern Colorado, occurred just this year. Olson, like many of the other fatalities, was just doing his job when he was struck by an oncoming vehicle.

In 2010 the Colorado legislature passed HB10-1014, which requires CDOT and the State Patrol to prepare a joint annual legislative report regarding fatalities in work zones and what awareness and safety measures are being taken. You can view all of these  reports online from our library. Also, during the 2018 session, just following Olson’s death, the General Assembly passed a resolution designating a section of Hwy 84 near Pagosa Springs as the “Nolan Olson Memorial Highway.”

To help avoid accidents like Olson’s, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reminds drivers to “slow for the cone zone.” If you’re driving through a construction area, go extra slowly and carefully, always obey flaggers, and make sure to give workers a wide breadth. Visit CDOT’s website for more tips on safe driving in construction zones.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The History of Colorado's Highways

Today we take for granted the fact that highways can take us pretty much anywhere we want to go.
But in the first half of the 20th century, that wasn’t the case. As automobiles grew in popularity, the need arose for a system of highways that could support ever-increasing numbers of vehicles. While the construction of highways and interstates has made our life much easier, they haven’t been without problems, whether it’s impact to the environment, or the socioeconomic consequences that occurred in neighborhoods split by highways, forever changing local dynamics.

If you’re researching the history of Colorado’s highway and interstate systems, our library has numerous resources, including historical documents, that tell the story of the transportation system that completely changed our landscapes and ways of life starting in the second half of the 20th century. Search our web catalog for resources. Some highlights from our collection include:

  • 100 Years of State Transportation History. Colorado Department of Transportation, 2010.
  • A “Before and After” Study of Effects of a Limited Access Highway Upon the Business Activity of By-Passed Communities and Upon the Land Value and Land Use. Colorado Department of Highways, 1958.
  • Colorado’s Highway Needs and Highway Financing. Colorado Highway Planning Committee, 1950.
  • Colorful Colorado (official state highway maps). 1942-1991 available online; print maps available 1954-present.
  • Commemorating the Opening of the Denver Valley Highway, November 23, 1958. Colorado Department of Highways, 1958.
  • Denver Metropolitan Area Transportation Study. Colorado Division of Highways, 1962.
  • Digest and Review of the Preliminary Report of the Colorado Highway Planning Committee. Colorado Highway Planning Committee, 1950
  • The High Road. Colorado Division of Highways, 1976.
  • The Highways of Colorado: Summary Report of the Colorado State Planning Commission. Works Progress Administration and Colorado State Planning Commission, 1937.
  • Highways to the Sky: A Context and History of Colorado’s Highway System. Colorado Historical Society and Colorado Department of Transportation, 2002.
  • Paths of Progress. Colorado Department of Highways, 1954.
  • Route Descriptions and Mileage Statistics of Colorado State Highways. Colorado Division of Highways, published annually 1955-1960.
  • Traffic Volumes on Urban Freeways in Colorado. Colorado Department of Highways, 1971.

Items without web links can be viewed in or checked out from our library or obtained through Prospector. We also have hundreds of documents pertaining to individual highways/interstates and geographic areas, environmental information, planning documents, research reports, and resources on the history of specific features like the Eisenhower Tunnel, Glenwood Canyon, and the Scenic Byways.

Finally, see also the Colorado Department of Transportation’s CDOT History webpage.

Colorado’s state highway system in 1951.

Top photo: The old San Juan County Road before the construction of the Million Dollar Highway. Photo courtesy Denver Public Library Western History & Genealogy Department.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Public Transit in Colorado

With so many people moving to Colorado, and with so much development, transit has become an important issue. Transit, or public transit, refers to multi-modal transportation systems that can move large numbers of passengers – i.e., buses or passenger rail.

The state’s two major planning documents for transit are the Statewide Transit Plan, which “identifies local, regional and statewide transit and passenger rail needs and priorities,” and the Colorado State Freight and Passenger Rail Plan, developed “to provide a framework for future freight and passenger rail planning in Colorado.” Learn more about the two plans, and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)’s other transit policies, on their Division of Transit and Rail webpage.

Additional documents relating to Colorado’s transit and rail planning include:

To learn about Colorado’s safety laws for rail and transit, visit the Colorado Public Utilities Commission’s  Rail/Transit webpage. The state also recently conducted an audit of bus and light rail operator safety practices.

Photo by Jeffrey Beall courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Colorado State Publications Blog

Statistics on Seat Belt Use

One of the easiest things you can do to protect yourself when you get in the car is to fasten your seat belt.  Yet each year there are still many people who needlessly lose their lives simply because they didn’t buckle up.  According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the average rate of seat belt use in Colorado is just 84{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5}, lower than the national average of 90.1{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5}.  During a seat belt enforcement campaign spanning two weeks in May-June 2017, including Memorial Day weekend, a whopping 5,505 drivers were cited for seat belt violations, with an additional 217 ticketed for driving with improperly restrained children.

CDOT notes that “In 2016, 180 people who weren’t buckled up lost their lives in traffic crashes on Colorado roadways. If everyone had buckled up, nearly half of the victims would have lived.”  That exact same number of fatalities also occurred in 2013. That year, CDOT issued an infographic Unbuckled and Uncensored, which offers further insight on these fatalities.  For instance, this publication illustrates that more men than women failed to buckle up; 49{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} of the unbuckled fatalities were alcohol-related; and 63{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} of fatal crashes involved a pickup truck or SUV.

You can find statistical information on seat belt use, car seats, and other safety measures both on CDOT’s website and from our library.  CDOT publishes several annual reports about seat belt use, which you can access from our library:

Older data, for comparison purposes, can be found in

Also, for more about what the state is doing to try to promote seat belt use, see the CDOT research report Identification of Appropriate Investment Levels to Maintain and Improve Seat Belt Usage Rates in the State of Colorado.

Image courtesy CDOT 

Colorado State Publications Blog

How to Use Express Lanes

With more and more people living — and driving — in the metro area, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has been adding express lanes to many highways.  Some of these, like those on US36 between Denver and Boulder, are open; others, including new express lanes on I-70 and C-470, are yet to come.

The purpose of express lanes is to help ease traffic congestion on highways and interstates.  To be able to use express lanes, you must obtain a special ExpressToll pass.  There are also some different configurations and rules that make express lanes different from regular highway lanes, so if you want to participate, CDOT has several resources to help you.  They have created a series of videos that explain how to use the special lanes — whether you’re a commuter, a carpooler, or a transit rider.  CDOT’s Express Lanes website also includes FAQs, fact sheets, information on upcoming construction, and links for obtaining ExpressToll passes and receiving alerts.  Avoid confusion before your trip and check out these resources before you hit the road. 

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado License Plates

Did you know that before the introduction of license plate validation stickers in 1976, you were required to get a new set of plates each year?  From 1913, when the first Colorado license plates were issued, until 1957, the plates had an entirely new color scheme every year.  Then, in 1958, the current colors of dark green and white were adopted — but they still didn’t have the stickers, so instead, each year the color of the plates alternated between green letters on a white background, and white letters on green.  A red, white, and blue plate was issued for the Centennial/Bicentennial in 1975 and with a validating sticker for 1976.  In 1977, plates were returned to green and white and starting in 1978 no new color schemes were introduced; instead, validating stickers were issued in a new color for each year.  The plates underwent one more color change in 2000, when the colors were reversed from white letters on a green background to green letters on a white background.

So what color was the first Colorado license plate?  What year were Colorado plates red and beige?  Or black and orange?  You can find out with this list put together by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

You can learn more about the history of license plates in Colorado by viewing the digital Colorado Session Laws.  For instance, you can view the original law from 1913 establishing a license plate system in Colorado; the 1974 law that allowed the issuing of validation stickers; the 1998 law that required the new plate style beginning January 1, 2000, and others.

The red, white and blue license plate commemorating the state Centennial in 1976, with validation sticker. Courtesy Wikipedia.
Colorado State Publications Blog

The Future of Transportation

Travel between Denver and Boulder in just 8 minutes?  It could become a reality.  Yesterday the Colorado Department of Transportation released plans to study the Hyperloop system, a high-speed track system where cars are loaded onto pods and pushed through vacuum-sealed tubes at a speed of 670 miles per hour.  CDOT says a half-mile test track will be built alongside E-470 near Denver International Airport.   You can read more about this futuristic transportation system in CDOT’s Hyperloop One report/proposal.  See also this CDOT video about Hyperloop.

Autonomous vehicles are also on the horizon.  Over the past year CDOT has been testing self-driving work zone trucks and other innovations as part of its RoadX program.  CDOT put together this video demonstrating the world’s first self-driving work zone vehicle.  Check out CDOT’s RoadX webpage for more information and videos.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Aviation

A jet crosses the runway over I-70 at Stapleton International Airport in 1969.  Photo courtesy History Colorado.

In honor of National Aviation History Month, this week’s post takes a look at the state of aviation in Colorado fifty years ago.  In 1968, the Colorado House of Representatives appointed a committee to look at the growth, challenges, and future of air travel in Colorado.  You can read the committee’s report online from our library.

The report discusses the planning and legislation needed to address the growing industry.  At the time of this report, aviation technology was rapidly expanding.  Many airports, including Denver’s Stapleton, were constructed in the early days of flight.  But after WWII, air travel “took off” as technologies were expanded.  For the first time in 1959, a jumbo jet flew out of Stapleton Airport, a facility that had been designed for much smaller aircraft.  Smaller airports around the state were also being pushed to capacity as air travel in all forms became more widespread.  Safety had also become more of a concern, as the Denver metro area had experienced two major crashes in the 1950s.  In 1951, a B-29 bomber taking off from Lowry Air Force Base crashed into Denver’s Hilltop Neighborhood; and in 1955, Mainliner flight 629 exploded over Longmont, the result of a bomb planted in a passenger’s suitcase, killing 44.  It was the United States’ first incidence of air sabotage and still ranks as the state’s largest mass-murder.

So the need for space, safety, and adaptation to new technology led to the House committee’s formation in 1968.  The committee suggested that the overcrowding at Stapleton be addressed by the construction of “new reliever (secondary) airports in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Denver.” Stapleton would push on for another twenty-five years, but finally the expansion of air travel – including the addition of more international flights – as well as increased noise over Denver residential areas led to the construction of Denver International Airport.

Other ideas put forth in the 1968 report included state aid for community airports; development of air commuter services; an expanded safety program, including “the widespread use of navigational aids throughout the State;” and using air travel improvements to attract tourists to Colorado, especially skiers.  The committee recommended “exploiting all of Colorado’s natural resources through the media of air transport. Such potentials as the skiing industry should be fully supported by both communities and the State.”  Was this initiative successful?  Ten years after the report, the University of Colorado published The Airline Skier, 1977-78 Season: A Comparison of the Skiers Traveling by Commercial Air in Five Skier Studies Conducted at Aspen, Vail, Steamboat, Winter Park, and Copper Mountain.  This report is also available digitally from our library.  For other resources on the history of aviation in Colorado, search our library’s online catalog.  

Colorado State Publications Blog

Keeping Kids Safe on the Road

This week is both National Teen Driver Safety Week and National School Bus Safety Week.  Our library has many resources that can help you learn about and bring attention to both of these important causes.
Teen drivers:

School buses:

Search our library’s web catalog for more resources.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Dial 511 for Road Conditions

Winter driving season has arrived!  The Colorado Department of Transportation offers several services to help you be prepared and aware of road closures and weather conditions.  Log on to, or simply dial 511 from anywhere in Colorado.  511 works with both cell phones and land lines.  You can also sign up for email or text alerts from CDOT, or download the CDOT mobile app.