Comments sought for Non-Motorized Plan

       The first major update to the Regional Non-Motorized Plan since 1994 has been approved for public review, with comments requested by Dec. 14.
       The plan can be viewed on line at ppacg.com (in the “E-Library”), or a hard copy can be obtained from the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) office at 15 S. Seventh Street (phone 471-7080).
       Prepared with the help of consultants, the plan is intended to make non-motorized travel in the region safer and more functional. The focus is on bicycles and pedestrians, but suggestions to reduce or manage the use of motor vehicles are also included.
       Public input was sought through surveys in 2006 and 2007 at the Colorado Springs Bike Jamboree, Bike and Trails Festival and at some community events this summer.
       “A key component of the plan has been the compilation of the first-ever comprehensive map of existing and proposed facilities region-wide,” states a summary from PPACG transportation planner Jason O'Brien.
       An overview on the PPACG website lists “the most important issues identified so far”:
       “The current bicycle network lacks connectivity, and the majority of users view increased connectivity as the top priority.
       “Although urban and rural areas should not be held to the same design standards, both urban and rural streets can be made more bicycle friendly through design - incorporating bicycle facilities during initial road construction is the most cost-effective way of accomplishing this.
       “Meeting all regional non-motorized transportation needs would cost about $120 million, but only about $20 million in funds can be reasonably expected over the next few decades - thoughtful prioritization is more important than ever.”
       The 30-day comment period started Nov. 14, when the PPACG board approved the Non-Motorized Plan, according to Jennifer Young of the PPACG. A Dec. 11 open house (details to be announced) will include discussion of the plan, she said. Young added that plan comments will continue to be taken through April (when plan approval by the board is anticipated). However, the earlier ones will carry more weight. “We'd like to get them sooner than later,” she said. “If they come later, they're harder to incorporate.”

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