Westside Pioneer Home Page

Regional transportation survey probes future 'lifestyle preferences'

The first-lap lead riders among 70 women participants in the Colorado Classic bicycle race last August pedal along Colorado Avenue through Old Colorado City. Questions about everyday bicyle use are included in a public survey that's part of an update to the region's long-range transportation plan.
Westside Pioneer file photo
Feb. 11, 2018
       Issues such as road congestion and people's interest in travel modes besides cars are spotlighted in a public survey intended to help shape the region's transportation future.
       The online posting by the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) is a required step in the scheduled update of its long-range transportation plan (LRTP).
       Consisting of boxes that can be clicked or used to offer comments, the survey is available for citizens until March 23, a PPACG press release states. The website link is ppacg.org/needs-survey. The questions are principally concentrated in four screens.
       The survey took less than 10 minutes to fill out in a sample case.
       A regularly updated LRTP is required of the PPACG as the “federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Pikes Peak region,” a press release states.
       The current LRTP envisions area traffic needs in 2040. The update looks five more years ahead. “Between now and 2045, the Pikes Peak Region will experience significant growth, as well as social, demographic, and technological changes that
Here's a screen with questions about walking preferences in the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments transportation survey. A comment box allows respondents to elaborate on their checkbox choices.
Courtesy of Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments
will impact our daily lives,” the press release elaborates. “The region's population is forecast to increase from 712,000 to over 1.1 million in the next 25 years, and PPACG is considering how this growth and changes like the introduction of automated vehicles and the lifestyle preferences of future generations will impact transportation.”
       The Westside Pioneer had a small hand in finalizing the survey. The original version, posted Feb. 5, did not include comment boxes, although nearly every screen asked for people to input their "comments or concerns."
       After this was pointed out to the PPACG by the Pioneer's Kenyon Jordan, a response came back from Jessica McMullen, the agency's policy and communications manager, that “our goal is to provide data that we can respond to so we did want to focus on more definite responses. We will be happy to add a short comments section to capture additional thoughts and concerns.”
       This change was implemented within a day.
       Another part of the survey leading to a Pioneer/PPACG e-mail exchange was the question, “Do you ride your bike to reach destinations like work, school, shopping, restaurants, etc?” If a respondent answers “no,” a new question appears: “What
This screen capture from the transportation survey shows the checkbox options to a question about bicycle use: “What are some of the reasons that you don't ride?” Note: At the time, a comment box was not provided in this screen. It is now.
Courtesy of Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments
are some of the reasons that you don't ride?” followed by several checkbox options (as seen in the survey screen capture at left).
       Here is the way the e-mail exchange went:
       Jordan: “The response options for not riding a bike are limited to problems that can discourage cyclists who want to ride. But a logical reason for not riding would be preferring to use a car, walk or take a bus. Why were none of these response options offered in the survey?”
       McMullen: “We are looking to determine why people prefer other modes, more than what other modes they prefer. This will help us determine more about the culture in our region.” [Note: This was before comment boxes were coded into the survey.]
       Jordan: “Why not include travel expediency as one of the options? For instance, if you have a car, and you need to get from the PPACG office to Briargate in a half-hour, you obviously would not take your bicycle. Or maybe it's raining, or you don't want to be wind-blown for a job interview, or you have groceries. Etc. As for understanding the 'culture of the region,' if you don't leave room for potentially viable responses, then you are in fact missing part of that culture. Isn't that right?”
       McMullen: “By adding the open-ended comment section, that is now able to be addressed.”
       For more information, the main PPACG website is ppacg.org. The agency's phone number is 471-7080.

Westside Pioneer article
(Transportation: General)

Would you like to respond to this article? The Westside Pioneer welcomes letters at editor@westsidepioneer.com. (Click here for letter-writing criteria.)