- The Federal Aid Highway
Act of 1962 provided the catalyst for initiating the comprehensive
transportation planning process in the Pikes Peak Region. In
1967 the Pikes Peak Area Council of Government (P.P.A.C.G.) was
formed as the agency responsible for coordinating the continuing,
cooperative and comprehensive transportation plans for the region.
- More recent Federally-mandated
changes resulting from the Intermodal Surface Transportation
Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA)
have strengthened the role of P.P.A.C.G. and further encouraged
the various entities to more closely coordinate their transportation
- The El Paso County Department
of Transportation maintains approximately 1,850 miles of roadways
in the unincorporated County. With new development it is normal
for the developer to construct on-site roadways and associated
improvements and then dedicate them to the County. Off-site and
regional transportation needs are addressed through a combination
of County-wide financing, districts and developer participation.
- In 1987 the County adopted
a Major Transportation Corridors Plan which delineates the approximate
locations and proposed ultimate functional classification of
roadway facilities anticipated to be needed in the unincorporated
County. The intent of this document is to preserve adequate rights-of-way,
but to only construct facilities as the demand for them actually
occurs. The County also participates in the Major Thoroughfares
and Powers Task Forces. The primary purpose of these entities
is to preserve the function and integrity of major corridors
through careful control of access.
- Of the several railroads
and streetcar lines which once served El Paso County, only two
major lines and the Pikes Peak Cog Railway continue to operate.
These both follow the Interstate 25 and the Monument/ Fountain
Creek corridor, and provide freight service only.
- The Colorado Springs Transit
bus system provides service to some of the higher-density unincorporated
areas. In other unincorporated areas limited flexible-route
para transit service is provided to the elderly and handicapped.
- Aviation planning in this
region is also based upon a federally mandated process, with
the Colorado Springs owned Municipal Airport which shares runways
and navigational facilities with Peterson Air Force Base, being
the primary facility. Noise impacts from the Colorado Springs
Airport have influenced land uses in some unincorporated areas.
Additionally, there are several smaller military and civilian
aviation facilities in the County, each with its own unique land
- With the exception of
regional trails identified in the El Paso County Parks, Trails
and Open Space Plan, more localized pedestrian and bicycle facilities
are not planned for or been developed in the County.
- In the future, the emerging
telecommunications industry may afford the opportunity to work
and shop from home ultimately reducing the number of single occupancy
- ISSUE 9.1 Plan for
the mobility needs of the County
- Over the past few decades,
transportation demand as measured primarily by total vehicle
miles traveled (VMT) has increased faster than population growth.
- While the capacity, extent
and condition of El Paso Countys surface transportation
system is enviable compared to those of other counties, the recently
high levels of population growth have contributed to increased
congestion and a backlog of capacity expansion, demand management
and maintenance needs.
- If adequate transportation
corridors are not identified and reserved at a very early juncture
in the planning process, future system development options will
either be eliminated, or their costs will be greatly escalated.
- Goal 9.1 Plan, develop and maintain a safe
and efficient transportation system to meet the present and future
mobility needs of people, goods, materials and services.
- Policy 9.1.1
- Identify and preserve
the functional integrity of the corridors necessary to meet the
Countys potential future surface transportation needs.
- Policy 9.1.2
- Maintain transportation
planning flexibility which will allow the accommodation of different
potential future systems and technologies.
- Policy 9.1.3
- Achieve compatibility
between transportation facilities and adjacent land areas through
- Policy 9.1.4
- Coordinate and integrate
the planning and development of transportation modes including
highways, public transit, bikeways, pedestrian facilities, equestrian
trails, railroads, airports, ride-sharing, car-pooling and telecommunications
networks with P.P.A.C.G. and the Countys municipalities
and military installations.
- Policy 9.1.5
- Coordinate the Countys
transportation system with the transportation systems of neighboring
- Policy 9.1.6
- Balance the need for regional
mobility with demands for local access onto major transportation
- Policy 9.1.7
- Maximize the efficiency
of the existing transportation system through efficient traffic
management and operations techniques including signalization
and additional turning lanes which help to regulate traffic flow
and thereby increase capacity.
- Policy 9.1.8
- Encourage employers to
develop and implement methods such as flexible scheduling and
car or van pooling to reduce peak hour congestion on major transportation
- Policy 9.1.9
- Encourage the planning,
development and use of a telecommunication network to reduce
the number of work and shopping related automobile trips.
- ISSUE 9.2 Promote
Land Use Efficiency
- The automobile is one
of the enigmas in our individual and collective lives. Although
cars provide unprecedented transportation opportunities, comfort
and independence, they also have tremendous land use impacts.
In urban environments, as much as 50% of all property is dedicated
to automotive-related land uses, including roads, parking, driveways
- While County transportation
demand has increased at a rate faster than population growth,
new roadway capacity has not kept pace. This progression toward
increased traffic and congestion is largely unavoidable in growing
communities. The situation in El Paso County has been exacerbated
because of a relatively dispersed and low density development
pattern. The relatively high quality of the Countys regional
roadway system has contributed to the development of the Countys
dispersed land use and settlement patterns.
- As the regions population
increases and the financing necessary to meet the demand for
increased roadways diminishes, settlement patterns may become
concentrated along major corridors and alternative transportation
modes may be feasible.
- Goal 9.2.1 Promote land use planning which
maximizes transportation efficiency.
- Policy 9.2.1
- Encourage the development
of major activity centers
with regional multi-modal access.
- Policy 9.2.2
- Require advance right-of-way
preservation and/or dedication for transportation facilities
as part of the land development process.
- Policy 9.2.3
- Strictly limit direct
access onto major transportation corridors in order to preserve
their functional capacity.
- Policy 9.2.4
- Plan, build and manage
the capacity of the roadway system to accommodate maximum expected
land use densities.
- Policy 9.2.5
- Evaluate land use patterns
which place exceptionally large demands on the transportation
systems and mitigate their impact.
- Policy 9.2.6
- Encourage carefully-planned
mixed-use developments which integrate vehicular and pedestrian
transportation modes and which maximize the effective use of
transportation infrastructure and parking areas.
- ISSUE 9.3 Reduce
- Despite major increases
in regional VMT, the Countys air quality, as measured by
carbon monoxide (CO) and respirable particulate levels, has not
degenerated over the past few decades. This is largely due to
the combined effect of federal and state motor vehicle control,
inspection and maintenance and oxygenated fuels programs. There
is a current debate as to whether continuation and enhancement
of these programs will be sufficient to offset further increases
in both total traffic and congestion. Site-specific transportation-related
air quality impacts will continue to be a major concern.
- In addition to being time
consuming and irritating, traffic congestion has secondary impacts
which may include a shift of traffic onto residential streets.
Increased traffic on residential roadways contributes to increases
in noise and traffic speed which are often associated with reduced
safety and quality of life.
- New or expanded roadways
ordinarily enhance mobility but these improvements often consume
land, limit access, disturb sensitive environmental areas, contribute
to drainage impacts and encourage increased development. Sanding
on snow days adds to air pollution , clogs drainage structures
and require substantial funding.
- Goal 9.3 Reduce the adverse environmental impacts
of existing and future transportation systems through a combination
of careful planning and mitigation techniques.
a high priority on maintaining the environmental condition when
planning or building roads.
- Policy 9.3.2
- Place a high priority
on those system improvements which will substantially reduce
risks to public safety including but not limited to signalization
and traffic controls.
- Policy 9.3.3
- Encourage the identification,
designation and preservation and enhancement of scenic transportation
routes and vistas.
- Policy 9.3.4
- Provide for noise attenuation
and visual screening along major transportation corridors by
incorporating techniques including setbacks, buffers, berms and
- Policy 9.3.5
- Plan and provide for mitigation
of secondary impacts of traffic congestion including the protection
of air and water quality and drainage system enhancements.
- ISSUE 9.4 Address
- Compared with many public
facilities and services, roads have generally paid for themselves
primarily through fuel and related excise taxes. However, there
is a current and projected funding shortfall. This is caused
by a combination of increased fuel efficiency, diversion of fuel
taxes to other uses, previously deferred maintenance and capacity
projects, increased standards, and the higher cost of improvements.
The County must now compete with the State and other entities
for a share of shrinking Federal funding.
- Mechanisms are available
with which to reasonably guarantee that new development will
be financially responsible for its internal transportation needs.
However, the issue of how to fund the cost of new or upgraded
regional facilities through a user-pay system that equitably
allocates cost is much more of a challenge.
- This issue is complicated
by modeling limitations, uncertainties surrounding future land
use patterns and phasing, existing deficiencies, overlapping
jurisdictions and indirect
costs and benefits.
- Goal 9.4.1 Implement
the planned transportation system in a coordinated and cost-effective
manner utilizing a fair, equitable and sufficient method of funding.
- Policy 9.4.1
- Base funding for transportation
improvements and maintenance as much as possible on a user-pay
system while recognizing the unique needs of the transit-dependent
along with the indirect costs
and benefits of transportation projects.
- Policy 9.4.2
- Utilize transportation
strategies designed to improve the efficiency of existing roadways
prior to investing in system expansions or additions.
- Policy 9.4.3
- Adequately fund maintenance
of existing and future transportation infrastructure to preserve
the value of investments made.
- Policy 9.4.4
- Encourage user-pay approaches
to funding transportation system improvements and maintenance.
- Policy 9.4.5
- Encourage processes by
which development can contribute a reasonable and fair share
toward necessary off-site transportation improvements.
- Policy 9.4.6
- Place a high priority
on financing transportation improvements which significantly
reduce health and safety risks.
- ISSUE 9.5 Support
- It is recognized that
the single occupancy vehicle (SOV) will continue to play a dominant
role in the Countys transportation system far into the
future. However, as the population increases , the cost of roadway
system expansion escalates and the technology becomes more attractive
and affordable, alternative forms of transportation may become
a more acceptable and affordable choice
- However, it is also understood
that the land use and related impacts of the continued reliance
on single-passenger automobiles can be mitigated through the
use of alternative modes and traffic management techniques. This
is especially important during peak travel times and along high-use
- It is also recognized
that there are significant segments of the County population
which are wholly or partially dependent upon alternative modes.
- Goal 9.5.1 Promote
the planning and development of transportation modes offering
alternatives to single-occupant automobiles.
- Policy 9.5.1
- Encourage the development
of convenient, reasonably economic public transit options to
serve the mobility needs of all segments of the population to
and from major regional destinations.
- Policy 9.5.2
- Encourage the development
and maintenance of pedestrian and bicycle networks by identifying
and setting aside corridors early in the planning process
and by fully integrating these functions into land development
- Policy 9.5.3
- Encourage the use of high occupancy vehicles (HOVs),
buses, vans, carpools and rapid rail.
- Policy 9.5.4
- Promote the conservation
of energy resources through enhancement of all modes of transportation
and telecommunications networks.
- Policy 9.5.5
- Promote the development
of Park and Ride areas to facilitate the use of alternative modes
of transportation and coordinate the development of an intermodal
- Policy 9.5.6
- Emphasize the needs of
the transit-dependent population
in the planning and prioritization of alternative transportation
- Policy 9.5.7
- Encourage inter-regional
cooperation for the planning and development of alternative modes