Trail advocates will rally Thursday

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Earlier in the month, I wrote about the conflict over including trails on the project list for PPRTA II (see "Fork in the road".)

Long story short, city groups think it's a grand idea; county groups think road projects need to come first.

But after catching some flack for that stance from trails advocates, the El Paso County commissioners decided to reconsider the recommendations of its PPRTA groups.

The county will meet on the issue tomorrow, and trails advocates, especially the Trails and Open Space Coalition, are seizing the opportunity to advocate.

Read on for TOSC's take:

El Paso County Trails projects were on the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority draft list approved by the Commissioners on Feb 28, 2012. Subsequently they were removed. The Commissioners are now holding this public meeting on PPRTA-2, where trails projects will be considered for re-inclusion, due to TOSC advocacy efforts.

Where: Centennial Hall, Cascade Ave and Vermijo, Colorado Springs

When: Thursday, April 26, 7-9pm

Why: Ask the County Commissioners to add Transportation Trails projects back into the proposed Capital Program list for PPRTA-2, which will go to the voters in November.

Talking Points:

• Trails are an important part of the multi-modal transportation network solutions for the Pikes Peak Region.

• Commuters need trails to get to and from work efficiently and safely.

• School children need trails as a safe way to get to and from school

• Trails provide environmental benefits, including cleaner air by reducing the use of fossil fuels.

• Trails reduce traffic congestion by getting people out of their cars.

• Trails reduce our personal and governmental transportation costs by using human power.

• You don't have to be 16 to ride on a trail, they are open to all ages.

• The Cities of Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and the Town of Green Mountain Falls all have included non-motorized trails projects in their transportation project lists. The County should also.

• Trails need continuity between points A and B. The County needs to be a player so trails don't stop at the City limits.

• Having bike lanes included in City and County road projects absolutely helps address our transportation needs, but may not meet the needs of users who feel unsafe or don't have the skills to ride next to moving traffic.

• Trails have been and must continue to be part of our multimodal transportation solutions for our region.

• Trails provide health benefits for commuters and trails users.
Urge the County Commissioners to put County trails back into PPRTA-2.

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