‘Sustainable’ transportation systems? Public can comment on PPACG overview statement

       Emphasis on the word “sustainable” is the main difference in an updated vision, mission and principles (VMP) statement for long-range regional transportation development that citizens are being asked to comment on.
       The word, which now appears twice, had only appeared in a verb form with a possibly different meaning in the original VMP's Mission segment in the Moving Forward transportation plan approved by the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) board about a year and a half ago (“Plan multi-modal transportation facilities and services that efficiently move people and goods, support economic vitality, and sustain and improve the quality of life in the Pikes Peak Region”).
       In the new proposal, under the Vision element, “sustainable” (basically defined as “enduring”) replaces the word “preeminent” (defined as “outstanding”) in the sentence: “Create a sustainable multi-modal transportation system that meets regional mobility and accessibility expectations as essential elements of the Pikes Peak Area's quality of life.”
       In addition, a sentence has been added under the Principles element: “Seek sustainable and sufficient funding sources to implement regional transportation needs.”
       Citizen comments are being taken by PPACG through Nov. 19.
       The updated VMP was approved by the PPACG board (consisting of local elected officials in a three-county region) at its meeting Oct. 14. The VMP edits had been made during previous reviews by two PPACG-appointed citizen groups (the transportation and citizen advisory committees), according to information on the PPACG website.
       Although “sustainable” has become a key word for people who advocate energy from renewable sources, PPACG transportation planner Brian Vitulli said he does not think the difference is that significant from “preeminent.” He said sustainable could be defined in different ways, although of late it has become “a very chic or trendy term to throw into things.”
       Based on past PPACG discussions, a plan to 2035 is needed because the local region (El Paso, Teller and Park counties) is expected to grow by 65 percent by then, reaching a population of close to 1 million people.
       “As a state-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), PPACG is required to update its regional transportation plan every four years. Over the next two years, the planning process, Moving Forward Update, will prioritize transportation investments throughout the Colorado Springs metro area,” the website states.
       For more information, call 471-7080, or go to the website: ppacg.org and click on the link for the 2035 RTP (regional transportation plan).

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