EDITOR’S DESK: Oh boy! A future with more regulations

       They're called “public” workshops on the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) website - even though the participants were not selected through a public process and the workshops that they held were not publicly announced.
       That's just the start of my issues with the PPACG's new citizen goals/survey that's part of a long-range transportation plan update. The last time I lit into the Westside- based regional planning agency, it was for its sustainability effort (also ongoing), which included various goals that could never be met without excessive government regulation. This transportation plan sounds like more of the same. We once again see a future vision that is dismal and filled with political correctness - discouragement of personal transportation, people living packed closer together (which enhances bus ridership and lessens human disruption of wildlife habitats - I kid you not), and the government apparently reserving for itself the decision as to whether areas are "underutilized" and in need of infill. Yes, this is a transportation plan! Along the way, we must not harm endangered species, stay cautious of "life cycle costs" (on personal trips as well as freight), add bike lanes and trails, locate "affordable housing" near bus routes, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a "sustainable funding mechanism" (you and I know it as taxes) for broader mass transit. Yet despite all these added costs (stated as well as hidden), the survey contends that the region will be "economically competitive" in the year 2035, with a transportation system that connects everyone as fast or faster than today. How? The survey doesn't say. But according to PPACG spokesperson Jason Wilkinson, the non-public workshop participants were largely "subject-matter experts," so obviously they wouldn't lead us astray. Yet these same experts produced a 35-screen transportation survey that is so mind-numbing only three people had responded to it as of Jan. 5. By intent? Who knows? But hey, citizens, you've still got until Jan. 14. It's at ppacg.org, or call 471-7080 x139.

- K.J.