1. You have stated that regional traffic demand is a driver for the highway expansion. Yet this project, if built, will still bottleneck at Manitou Springs. Is there a long-range state plan, as yet unshared, to eventually widen the highway in a similar manner up Ute Pass? Is this to be a template for that?

Answer: The traffic volume projected west of the Manitou Avenue interchange can be accommodated with two lanes in each direction. Based on this forecast, reducing the number of lanes at the Manitou Avenue interchange will not cause a bottleneck on US 24. The US 24 Project Team is not aware of any long-range state plan to eventually widen the highway from Manitou Springs to Woodland Park, and no transportation plans for the region identify this type of project.

2. How much of the traffic is commuters and how much is local?

Answer: The forecast data shows that in 2030 40% of the trips on US 24 are expected to be trips that begin and end outside the corridor; 54% of the trips will begin or end outside the corridor; and only 6% will begin and end inside the corridor. Currently, 20% of the trips use the corridor to commute to work.

3. Where is all the growth coming from? There’s no more room to grow over here.

Answer: The traffic growth projected in this corridor is at a modest annual rate. It is less than the historic per annum growth on the corridor and it is less than the growth forecasted for the greater Colorado Springs region. US 24 is a regional highway and growth throughout the region is a significant contributor to the increased number of trips on US 24.

Some areas along US 24 are planned for redevelopment of a higher density than exists today. A higher density will generate more trips. In addition, Gold Hill Mesa, and other new developments north and south of the corridor will also contribute to the growth of traffic in the corridor.

4. What will you do if your population and business projections are found to be overestimated? Start over?

Answer: As the population and employment data is revised, the traffic forecasting model will be rerun and new forecasts will be developed. The alternatives and the design options will be re-evaluated with these volumes to determine if they still provide the needed operational improvements. If the traffic forecasts were to decrease significantly, alternatives and the design options that provided the needed operational improvements would be determined. A decrease in the forecasts is not expected given the planning horizon will be 2035.

5. Pleasant Valley is strictly residential, with zero commercial businesses. In 2030, you project 230% increase in employment. How can you possibly come up with this number? Also traffic numbers do not seem to be correct in all areas.

Answer: The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments works with the planning staff of member entities, interested citizens and the state demographer to develop future land use forecasts. The geographic area for which this employment is projected likely includes more than just the Pleasant Valley residential developments. The traffic forecasts developed using the 2035 land use will re-evaluate the traffic volumes in this area as well as the entire greater Colorado Springs area.

6. Is the “level of service” measured with consideration of current traffic flow or does it measure in terms of anticipated future traffic numbers?

Answer: Level of service (LOS) has been developed for both existing and future traffic. The LOS shown tonight in the presentation is a measure of anticipated future traffic.

7. Could you please post the current LOS grades of each intersection?

Answer: Yes, we will. However, since the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments is in the process of revising its numbers to reflect 2035 regional forecasts, it may make more sense to wait until those numbers are available. The 2030 numbers have already been posted on this Web site.

8. So no option meets LOS standards at 8th?

Answer: All of the design options at 8th Street would operate with an overall level of service (LOS) D for the 2030 PM peak hour. However, they all have some individual movements that would operate at a LOS E. Alternatives 16, 19 and 21 have two movements at LOS E, Alternative 17 has three and Alternative 18 has 5.

At this point it is hard to say whether 2035 volumes will make things worse or better at this intersection. The options developed maximize the operations for grade-separated improvements between an expressway and an arterial.