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New study focuses on rural transportation needs in El Paso, Teller, Park counties

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- We know about past, present and future major transportation projects such as along Interstate 25, U.S. 24 and Powers Boulevard but far less is widely known about transportation needs and challenges in the rural areas of the Pikes Peak region.

Those issues are being addressed in a recently-released study by the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG).

PPACG

The PPACG embarked on the 173-page Tri-County Transportation Study to assess needs in El Paso, Teller and Park counties.

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Improving roads, transit services and even trail connections are the focus of the study.

PPACG

Rural residents, for example, may drive on bad roads that get less attention from officials, or have fewer trail and transit connections that can get them to Colorado Springs or even Denver.

According to a PPACG's release, the study will determine how regional networks serve those needs and identify opportunities to further enhance connectivity and resiliency.

PPACG

The release explained that the study will result in a defined regional network, a set of initiatives and projects and a conceptual implementation and funding plan.

Public feedback will help shape the study results; public comment will be taken through July 25.

PPACG

To see the study, visit: https://www.ppacg.org/transportation/tri-county-study/.

“The intent of the study was kind of to identify projects that the lower jurisdictions, and the Colorado Department of Transportation and other organizations, could actually pick up and then try to find funding for," said Danelle Miller, senior transportation planner for the PPACG. "There really hasn't been a regional look at the full three-county area, and so that came about a few years ago. After COVID, we decided to put that in action."

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Charissa Schmidt owns a store in Park County and believes that better roads should be a priority.

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"Because of the difference in the traffic that we have nowadays," she explained. "I mean, ten, seven or five years ago even, you didn't have the recreational vehicle draw that you have in today's 2022 society."

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Improving technology is also part of the study's objectives.

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"You expect you're going to have to drive or drive farther because of that," said Teller County resident Paul Ostendorf. "But the Internet and cellphone coverage -- for me, at least -- are the two chief concerns I have, living remote."

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

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