To the Pikes Peak region's cyclists,
The El Paso County commissioners will meet at 9 a.m. TOMORROW (Tuesday, April 10) at Centennial Hall Auditorium, 200 South Cascade Avenue. On their agenda is a vote to approve a list of projects to be included in the upcoming Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority ballot initiative, scheduled for November. PPRTA-II will be the primary funding source that will build and maintain our region's transportation infrastructure for the next 10 years.
There were nine non-motorized projects proposed for the ballot initiative which were removed from consideration this past week. These projects included bicycle and pedestrian-focused trail projects that provide safe, non-motorized access to neighborhoods, schools, Fort Carson, and multiple retail and shopping areas.
It's important to recognize that the PPRTA-II list still includes some bicycle facilities that will be built on new or reconstructed roadways over the next 10 years. Thus, the current list as it stands, does not completely exclude non-motorized travel. However, these sections will be built in stages and will not meet the needs of a well-connected, multi-modal and non-motorized transportation infrastructure. The projects that have been dropped will negatively impact the success of the overall system.
At the County level, bicycles and other non-motorized means are not currently viewed as being used for transportation, just recreation. As someone who actively uses their bicycle for transportation to work, school, errands, or for other reasons, your voice is needed to help change this perception.
We need you to speak out on this issue TODAY, before tomorrow’s vote, for the most impact. Please copy the message below and e-mail it to our county commissioners. Feel free to add any personal stories or examples of your use of our non-motorized transportation (trail) system.
Additionally, having local area cyclists at the meeting tomorrow would be a way of showing a very visible sign that we do utilize the trail systems for transportation. It would be great to have individual area cyclists ride or attend the meeting at Centennial Hall to support the effort and if willing, speak for a moment to the Commissioners as a concerned citizen. Being respectful of your personal time, the PPRTA-II item is #12 on the agenda and showing up between 9:20am - 9:30am should get you there in time.
Live audio/video of the Board of County Commissioners meeting may be viewed at this link:
Here is the link to the agenda for Tuesdays meeting:
A map of the 5 County Districts can be found here:
The county commissioners' e-mails are as follows:
District 1: Darryl Glenn email@example.com
District 2: Amy Lathen firstname.lastname@example.org
District 3: Sallie Clark email@example.com
District 4: Dennis Hisey firstname.lastname@example.org
District 5: Peggy Littleton email@example.com
Use the template below as your letter, feel free to add in personal details of your transportation use of trails:
Dear County Commissioner,
As a local resident and frequent user of our region's non-motorized trail system for transportation use, it has been brought to my attention that for the next PPRTA-II ballot initiative, multiple non-motorized trail projects have been removed from the County's PPRTA-II project list.
I would like to encourage you reinstate all of the previously accepted projects. They are vitally important to creating a comprehensive, safe, and well-connected multi-modal transportation infrastructure, which will enhance the vitality and economic development of our region.
(your name here)
Great article that I just received in Elevation Outdoors concerning how well off we are in Colorado as a state as compared to national funding for bike infrastructure: http://www.zinio.com/reader.jsp?issue=416217111&o=int&prev=...
Let's hope the County reads it!
E-mails to the Commissioner's are sent, as folks who, DO NOT OWN A CAR, we really need and appreciate these "non-motorized" trails and paths! My wife commutes to work and back, I do all our errands, food, etc. by bicycle and homemade utility trailer, these trails and paths give us a BREAK, from having to be 1000% on our guard while riding in the bike lanes and side streets with AUTO traffic, it's a great relief!! I hope they reinstate these projects we NEED these for transportation and recreation alike.
To all of the people who reached out to the County Commissioners regarding this issue,
I can't say THANK YOU enough to all of the people that took a few minutes of their time and sent notes to your County Commissioners over the past week asking them to reconsider their position on the removal of 9 trail projects from the County's PPRTA-II list.
Today they had the meeting where the Commissioners would vote to approve the new, trail-less list to present to the PPRTA Board tomorrow.
After hearing about how important it was to get this done, to consider this list the best we could do, I was not encouraged that the presentations by Bill Koerner from TOSC, Richard Skorman and myself would do much good.
Boy was I wrong. Due to the communications received and our presentations today, I am very happy to report that instead of voting to approve the trail-less PPRTA-II County project list they have agreed to delay that a month so that a more robust public process may be engaged.
Thank you again to those who reached out, your voice was heard. I hope to see a much brighter, more cycling-friendly future for all of us in Colorado Springs and El Paso County. You all have been a part of the process that will, if done well leave a much better and healthier legacy for future little transportation cyclists in our region.
Pedal On ~ Allen
Update on the process.
Thank you again to all that wrote in or called their County Commissioners earlier to express their sentiments about the need for non-motorized trails to be included in the upcoming PPRTA-II ballot initiative.
The feedback was very positive and the Commissioners heard your voices.
Tomorrow, Thursday April 26th the County is holding an evening public meeting to allow citizens the chance to speak on behalf of their needs and to be a part of the process for the finalized list of PPRTA-II roadway and non-motorized projects.
The meeting will be held at Centennial Hall Auditorium, 200 South Cascade Avenue from 7:00pm - 9:00pm and it would be great to have a number of local residents who value having non-motorized trails for transportation purposes attend to voice their needs and to also thank our County Commissioners for delaying their vote on the finalized list.
Pedal On ~ Allen