El Paso County had trails projects on the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority draft list that was approved by the County Commissioners on Feb 28, 2012. The trail projects were later removed. After advocacy efforts by the Trails and Open Space Coalition, the Commissioners agreed to postpone voting on the PPRTA-2 list.
PPRTA is a 1 cent sales tax set to expire in 2013. Voters will be asked to reauthorize the tax in November. It’s a “transportation” program – not a “highway” program, because it includes transit and non-motorized projects. The first PPRTA included money for the Pikes Peak Greenway – the spine of our trail system.
What are some of the county’s trail projects? El Paso County staff listed 9 trail projects to include on the county’s list. One favorite would have provided non-motorized transportation options for enlisted soldiers at Fort Carson. Another would have connected an existing trail to a Junior High School. The top three projects would have cost $391,609. That’s .24% of the county’s PPRTA-2 share.
County Commissioners are now holding a public meeting on PPRTA-2, where trails projects will be considered for re-inclusion, due to advocacy efforts. The meeting is Thursday, April 26, 7-9 PM at Centennial Hall, Cascade Ave and Vermijo, Colorado Springs.
Why: Ask the County Commissioners to add Transportation Trails projects back into the proposed Capital Program list for PPRTA-2, which will go to the voters in November. If you can’t make the meeting, contact your county commissioner.
Talking Points from TOSC:
- Trails are an important part of the multi-modal transportation network solutions for the Pikes Peak Region.
- Commuters need trails to get to and from work efficiently and safely.
- School children need trails as a safe way to get to and from school.
- Trails provide environmental benefits, including cleaner air by reducing the use of fossil fuels.
- Trails reduce traffic congestion by getting people out of their cars.
- Trails reduce our personal and governmental transportation costs by using human power.
- You don’t have to be 16 to ride on a trail, they are open to all ages.
- The Cities of Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and the Town of Green Mountain Falls all have included non-motorized trails projects in their transportation project lists. The County should also.
- Trails need continuity between points A and B. The County needs to be a player so trails don’t stop at the City limits.
- Having bike lanes included in City and County road projects absolutely helps address our transportation needs, but may not meet the needs of users who feel unsafe or don’t have the skills to ride next to moving traffic.
- Trails have been and must continue to be part of our multimodal transportation solutions for our region.
- Trails provide health benefits for commuters and trails users.