1. What is a council of governments or COG?

A council of governments is a regional governing or coordinating body. COG members are drawn from the cities, counties, and other government bodies within its area. COGs are typically controlled by these local government members, and can offer planning, coordination, and technical assistance to their members; administer programs at a regional level; and act as intermediaries between the local government members and the state or federal government.

  1. What is a Metropolitan Planning Organization or MPO?

MPOs are federally mandated and federally funded transportation policy-making organizations made up of representatives from local government and governmental transportation authorities. The Federal Highway Act of 1962 requires the formation of an MPO for any urbanized area with a population of greater than 50,000.

Congress created MPOs to ensure that federal transportation funding is based on a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive planning process. It is the job of the MPO to help allocate federal transportation funding to projects that reflect the region’s shared vision for its future.

  1. What is the difference between a COG and an MPO?

COGs may be distinct from or encompass regional Metropolitan Planning Organizations. In our case, PPACG encompasses the Pike’s Peak MPO. MPOs are focused on transportation planning, while COGs have a broader scope, often including environmental planning and human services.

  1. Is my city or town included in PPACG’s planning area or the Pikes Peak MPO?

PPACG’s planning area covers all of Park, El Paso, and Teller Counties. PPACG provides environmental planning and aging services to this three-county area. The Pikes Peak MPO plans for future transportation needs in the urbanized portions of El Paso and Teller counties. The MPO boundary is dictated by current and future population densities.

The Pikes Peak MPO area encompasses the cities of Colorado Springs, Fountain, Manitou Springs, and Woodland Park; portions of unincorporated El Paso County; and the towns of Green Mountain Falls, Monument, and Palmer Lake.

The larger PPACG planning area includes the members of the MPO as well as the cities of Cripple Creek and Victor, unincorporated Park and Teller Counties; the remaining (non-urbanized) portions of El Paso County; and the towns of Calhan, Ramah, Alma, and Fairplay.

This map (PDF) shows the PPACG MPO Boundary, the 2017 Census Urban Area Boundary, and the Air Quality Maintenance Area Boundary for the Pikes Peak Region.

  1. Does PPACG build roads?

PPACG does not build roads. Our member governments are responsible for building and maintaining the transportation facilities in the Pikes Peak Region. PPACG develops a regional long range transportation plan (LRTP) that helps determine which local projects are eligible to receive federal funds.

  1. How many MPOs or COGs are there in Colorado?

There are five MPOs or COGs in Colorado. The Denver Area Council of Governments (DRCOG) is located in Denver; the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) is located in Colorado Springs; the North Front Range MPO (NFRMPO) is located in Fort Collins; the Grand Valley MPO (GVMPO) is located in Grand Junction; and the Pueblo Area Council of Governments (PACOG) is located in Pueblo.