COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- City officials sponsored an interactive virtual public meeting Thursday night, the latest step in the yearlong ConnectCOS transportation study.
The study will lead to an update of the city's previous transportation plan and will result in 20-year plan for safe, efficient, accessible and well-connected travel options in and around the city.
Thursday's 90-minute meeting allowed the public to comment on a monthlong citizen survey last year involving 1,700 residents.
The survey, conducted by a consultant, focused on questions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the city’s current transportation system and solicited information related to travel habits and needs.
Among the survey's findings was that 98% of respondents own at least one vehicle, 65% want more transportation options such as walking, biking and public transit and 50% want better wheelchair access.
Using the information collected and public feedback, the ConnectCOS team will identify and prioritize areas of need and formulate potential strategies to address them.
"We'll eventually determine where transportation improvements will be made, how much they'll cost and how to pay for them," said Todd Frisbie, the city's traffic engineer. "We'll also consider if we'll need to build new streets and roads to ease traffic congestion on busy corridors like Academy Boulevard."
Frisbie said that Fillmore Street, particularly east of Interstate 25, was considered one of the most congested in the survey.
"It's hard right now to know what to do with it," he said. "It's a narrow corridor with businesses right up against it, but it's also an east-west corridor and we have issues with some of those. We'll have to find a way to make traffic flow more smoothly."
The plan also will take other transportation modes, such as bicycles and public transit, into consideration.
"I think they need more buses and more frequent times going the same way, because sometimes you have to wait," said resident Debbie Young. "More bike trails for people who want to do it."
Anthony Giron said that the city generally does an acceptable job on transportation -- with one exception.
"I really would ride my bike to work, which is about 7 miles away from my house, except that I'd have to ride on a real (congested) area like Powers and Fountain," he said.
Officials expect to have a final plan ready for City Council approval by the end of the year.
For more information about the ConnectCOS process, visit: https://coloradosprings.gov/project/connectcos.