New RTA: 7 Westside ‘A’ projects; meetings June 2 & 7
With area governments having finished their proposed transportation lists for “PPRTA II,” citizens will get their say at meetings June 2 and 7.
After that, according to City Transportation Mana-ger Kathleen Krager, the Pikes Peak Rural Transpor-tation Authority (RTA) Board of Directors are slated to vote on a finalized “capital renewal list” (as it's being called) at the next RTA meeting June 13.
For the Westside, the list shows 7 of about 70 top-priority (ranked “A”) projects on this side of town, as well as 5 of about 70 lower-priority (ranked “B”).
In terms of dollars, the Westside is ticketed for $35,293,000 in A-list projects and $26,233,000 B-list.
The only new-construction A-list projects seen for the Westside are the Centennial Boulevard extension (to finish the connection between Fillmore and Fontanero streets) and the Midland Trail (the missing link between Ridge and Columbia roads).
Other Westside “A” work would involve replacing two bridges and upgrading three roadway segments (including the part of West Colorado Avenue nicknamed “No Man's Land”).
The meeting information is as follows:
Both meetings will be set up the same, with an “open-house” format and the same set of information displays and government officials on hand to answer questions, Krager said.
PPRTA II is the name that's been given to a proposed 10-year sequel to the current RTA, which voters in El Paso County initially had approved from 2005 to 2014. Current money from the RTA's 1-cent sales tax is being used for the original A-list. The tax also funds public road improvements, maintenance, and transit for El Paso County and communities (including Colorado Springs) that charge the RTA tax.
A ballot issue seeking the extension will go before voters at the Nov. 6 general election.
Asked about the funding plan for PPRTA II, Krager explained that staff has changed its strategy from the current RTA, in which a steadily strong economy would have been necessary to fund any projects other than those on the A list. Because the economy instead went down, that didn't happen.
For PPRTA II, the funding plan is more conservative, Krager said. The sale-tax revenues are predicted to come in at the same rate as in the current RTA. In such a case, the complete A list (priced at $284,850,000 in all) could be funded with only 75 percent of the total capital money over the 10-year span, which improves the odds of funding at least some B-list items. The B-list projects have the same total price tag, so they could all be funded if money came in at 150 percent of expectations, she pointed out.
Here is the Westside A list (in order of cost):
Westside Pioneer article (with reporting contribution by N. Rioux Jordan)