OWN president questions 2035 Small Area Forecast
How much difference can five years make? The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) is trying to find out with its recent release of the Draft 2035
Small Area Forecast, for which the one-month public comment period started Feb. 14.
When finalized, the forecast - which attempts to predict where people will live and work 30 years in the future - will be used by PPACG, the region's planning agency, in updating its long-range transportation plan.
Although unadvertised except on the PPACG website and in announcements at PPACG meetings, the comment period is bringing in some citizen feedback. Welling Clark, president of the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), raises several points in an 18-page PowerPoint document, including one that shows the Westside having more jobs in 2035 than a large portion of the upcoming Banning-Lewis subdivision between Colorado Springs and Falcon.
The PPACG board, comprised of elected leaders from governments in the region, is scheduled to discuss the 2035 forecast issue at its monthly meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 14 in the downstairs meeting room at the agency offices at 15 S. Seventh St. “We will ask for a recommendation to approve the forecast,” said PPACG planner Aaron Klibaner in an interview this week. Once approved, about eight months would be needed to fully update the region's road network plans using the information, he said.
Clark had raised similar concerns last year about the 2030 forecast projections which were then being used.
According to Klibaner, the 2035 software is more “sophisticated” than that used for 2030, and allows better interaction with the data.
To view the forecast data or to submit comments, call PPACG at 471-7080 or go to the website: ppacg.org. Klibaner said the agency is especially interested in analytical efforts, less so than comments to the effect that someone thinks the numbers sound too high or low.
A specific project that will use the forecast is the Westside Highway 24 expansion planning effort by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). According to spokesman Kyle Blakely, the CDOT planning team has been holding off on finalizing what it calls its Preferred Alternative for the expansion until the forecast is finalized.
Here are some of the issues Clark raised in his comments:
Westside Pioneer article