This section summarizes the public outreach activities and messages from Phase I, Needs and Desires, of the development of the El Paso County 2040 Major Transportation Corridors Plan (MTCP). Key messages provided direction for completing the plan were derived from a series of public outreach activities conducted during Phase I in the Spring of 2010. Those activities, products, and events include:
- Public Outreach
- Project Website
- Priority Packets
- Connect-Our-County Online Transportation User Survey
- Connections Workshops
- Video: Developing the Major Transportation Corridors Plan
- Reaching the Region Map
- Coordination with Agencies and Jurisdictions
- Trends Affecting the El Paso County 2040 MTCP
- What We Heard - Key Messages
- Phase I Summary Report: Needs and Desires
The public outreach events and activities of Phase I can be thought of as a table with four legs, with each leg supporting the objectives of determining the Needs and Desires of the residents in the urban and rural areas of El Paso County. This Project Website provided perhaps the most access to the project for county residents. The Online Survey provided outreach to a wide variety of users, or customers, of the transportation system. The Connections Workshops were the main events of Phase I, yielding focused discussions with the public on topics as diverse as maintenance of the transportation system, trade-offs on different roadway investments, land use, growth/development, funding, and quality of life issues.
The events that were held are summarized below. Following those are the Key Messages based on input from Phase I and a discussion of What’s Next in the development of the El Paso County 2040 MTCP.
The Project Website
One of the foundational elements of the development of the El Paso County 2040 MTCP is this project website. The website serves as the primary portal for accessing information about the Plan’s development and to leave a comment or question for consideration by the study team. In addition, the Connect-Our-County online transportation user survey is accessed through the website; and users were also able to request "Priority Packets" to be mailed to them. The website is updated regularly throughout the Plan’s development to keep the information fresh.
Priority Packets are introductory brochures with postcards to be completed and mailed back.Over 500 packets were placed at strategic locations across the county, including post offices, libraries, coffee shops, and grocery stores.
Enlarge the Priority Packet Postcard (PDF)
Connect-Our-County Online Transportation User Survey - Preliminary Results
One of the first activities undertaken in the development of the El Paso County 2040 MTCP was a transportation survey of those who live, work, visit, shop, and/or play in the region. The survey provided valuable information about the opinions and desires of the region’s transportation system users.
Enlarge the Survey Graphic (PDF)
The Connect-Our-County Transportation Survey was widely distributed via contacts from staff, committee members, stakeholders, consultants, and others. The survey was active throughout the Spring and into the Summer of 2010. Over 90 people completed the survey. This represents extensive participation by the public, although it is recognized that some biases may be present as in any semi-random, self-selected survey.
Enlarge the chart (PDF)
Enlarge the chart (PDF)
Results from the survey responses are available in this downloadable PDF.
The main events of Phase I were the Connections Workshops. Five meetings were held in different locations throughout the county during the month of April 2010 to elicit input from the public on their future transportation needs and desires.
The Workshops featured a presentation about transportation in the area now and in the future and an interactive workshop for participants to plan for roadway maintenance and capacity improvements and other transportation needs - within a given budget. The exercise, called Connections, mimics the challenges and opportunities that elected officials and public agencies face in planning for the future transportation needs of the County.
Results from the Connections Workshops guide the effort to identify and evaluate future alternative improvements for the El Paso County 2040 MTCP. Results from the Connections Workshops are included in the following sections.
|Meetings were held in the following locations:
- Monday, April 19: 6 to 8 pm at Falcon Middle School
- Tuesday, April 20: 6 to 8 pm at Widefield High School
- Wednesday, April 21: 6 to 8 pm at Lewis-Palmer Middle School
- Thursday, April 22: 6 to 8 pm at Calhan School Media Center
- Wednesday, April 28: 6 to 8 pm at The Pinery in Black Forest
The participants in the Connections Workshops used information regarding future land uses, growth, transportation funding and funding scenarios to discuss trade-offs among possible transportation investments. Each table of 4 to 8 persons was provided with a game board of the region, game pieces of various cost for different types of improvements, and a tally sheet for keeping track of investments and costs. Real-world budget estimates were used to represent roughly the amount of funds that may be available for transportation in El Paso County through the year 2040.
Eleven Connections maps were generated by the approximately 50 participants at the meetings, and numerous comments were provided. In addition, several alternative roadway capacity projects and roadway maintenance needs were identified for consideration in Phase II of the MTCP’s development.
Enlarge the Connections Workshop Game Pieces (PDF)
Video: Developing the Major Transportation Corridors Plan
Reaching the Region Map
The following Reaching the Region Map illustrates the locations of all the public outreach events and activities to date.
Enlarge the Reaching the Region Map (PDF)
Coordination with Agencies and Jurisdictions
Public meetings were held with the following local and regional agencies and jurisdictions as well:
Trends Affecting the El Paso County 2040 MTCP
|PPACG Technical Advisory Committee
January 21, 2010
February 18, 2010
March 18, 2010
|PPACG Citizens Advisory Committee
||March 31, 2010|
|City of Fountain Planning Commission
||April 7, 2010|
|PPRTA Citizens Advisory Committee
||April 7, 2010|
|PPACG Board of Directors
||April 14, 2010|
|PPRTA Board of Directors
||April 14, 2010|
|City of Monument Board of Trustees
||May 3, 2010|
|PPACG/CDOT/Local Inter-agency Coordination Meetings
||May 12, 2010|
|Colorado Springs City Council Meeting
||June 7, 2010|
|Colorado Springs Citizens Transportation Advisory Board
||July 6, 2010|
The following "Trends Affecting the El Paso County 2040 MTCP" was presented as background for the Connections Workshop exercise. This information was used to assist in understanding the information used by participants in selecting their future transportation projects.
Goals and Objectives for the MTCP
- Maintaining our Existing Transportation System
- Add New Lanes and Roads
- Identify Adequate Funding
- Offer Transportation Choices
- Provide Safe and Secure Transportation
- Support Economic Vitality
- Minimize Travel Time and Distance
- Protect the Environment
Future Land Uses
- Guide growth and infrastructure investments
- Fuel additional travel in the future
- Future land use assumptions are based on:
- El Paso County Land Use Plan
- Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments Socioeconomic Forecasts
- Land Owner/Developer Buildout Plans
Household and Population Growth
Enlarge the Household and Population Growth Table (PDF)
Enlarge the Employment Growth Table (PDF)
Key Issues and Questions to Consider
- Transportation funding has not kept pace with inflation.
- As the county grows, there will be more trips traveling further and creating congestion.
- Even with funded improvements over the next 30 years, congestion will grow within the region.
- Due to limited funding, most jurisdictions are not keeping up with maintenance, which means higher costs in the future.
- How should we address growth and increased travel and congestion within the region?
- How should we fund needed improvements?
- How will travel patterns and transportation needs change in the future with:
- Rising fuel costs?
- New technologies?
- What is the desired balance of maintenance and capacity investments?
What We Heard - The Public's Top Transportation Priorities
The following priority statements were developed based on the entire body of evidence from the public outreach efforts in Phase I. These are important because they established the direction for the El Paso County 2040 Major Transportation Corridors Plan. They were used to develop transportation alternatives and criteria for measuring and comparing the benefits of different projects.
- Maintenance of the Existing Transportation System – The existing roadway system is the highest transportation priority and should be maintained as a significant investment in the economic viability and quality of life of County residents.
- Adequate Sources of Transportation Funding – Transportation revenues are shrinking in relation to needs. Gas taxes have not kept pace with inflation and extremely high construction cost increases in recent years have eroded our ability to keep up with transportation investments. Roadway maintenance typically consumes a major portion of our transportation funds and needs to be further increased to keep up. New growth should pay for itself and not be funded through taxes. Additional local funding options should be considered.
- Safe Roads – Safety and security involve all aspects of the transportation system. Transportation infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and trails/paths are designed with the highest degree of safety reasonably available. Locations where transportation infrastructure enhancements could address specific safety or security concerns should be identified for improvement.
- Transportation Choices of Walking, Biking, and for People with Disabilities – In order to provide choices and transportation mobility for youth, seniors, persons with disabilities, and others, future investments in the transportation system should accommodate alternative transportation modes although the automobile and streets/highways will continue to be the primary mode of transportation for the foreseeable future. Non-motorized mobility is important for all persons in the county and especially for youth, seniors, and persons with disabilities.
- Ensuring Transportation Connections Between Urban and Rural Areas – Growth in unincorporated areas of El Paso County will need to be connected to the urban areas and I-25. The rural communities are growing quickly and will face unique transportation problems, such as a rural road transportation system with maintenance and improvement needs that strain the local community’s ability to fund them. In particular, east-west movements to accommodate growth in Falcon and Peyton are necessary.
- Protect the Environment, Economy, and Neighborhoods – The transportation system should fit in with its surrounding natural and built environments. Transportation improvements should reflect the rural character of existing communities by enhancing walk, bike, and horse modes and applying context sensitive solutions for roadway capacity. New developments should accommodate bicycle, walking, and transit needs as appropriate. Infrastructure improvements should be made to the roadway system to enhance the economic vitality of the County while being sensitive to environmental and neighborhood concerns.
Click on any of the graphic images above to enlarge each graphic as a PDF
Phase I Summary Report: Needs and Desires
The activities, events, and input from the public outreach events are summarized in the Phase I Summary Report: Needs and Desires (3.7 MB PDF).