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Reader: Health equity should be a top priority for Plan COS 

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As a local cardiologist and president of the American Heart Association's Colorado Springs board, I am excited about Plan COS. This has the opportunity to lay the groundwork for developing our community in a healthy and equitable way.

I am encouraged by the focus on a connected framework for a transportation system and on building complete streets for safely incorporating multiple modes of transportation in the design of new and redeveloped transportation corridors.

Streets don't just lead us from one place to another in our cars, they bring us together on our bike rides, morning jogs, and evening strolls. At least, that's what they're supposed to do. However, in some parts of our city, the opposite is true: Streets are unsafe for people who walk, bike or roll because there are so few bike lanes, sidewalks, curb ramps or crosswalks. This not only limits our options for how to travel, but it also discourages being physically active. Plan COS can assist in remedying any unsafe mobility networks in our community. Throughout the process of finalizing and implementing the plan, equity should remain a top priority

During this public comment period on the draft plan, the American Heart Association will share opportunities to expand on the plan and will offer comments in order to encourage the city to continue to consider health equity throughout. I would also encourage other community members and health-focused organizations around the city to comment so that we can support the health of all our residents. As a community, we can work together to demonstrate the need for continued and increased focus on developing our city in a healthy and equitable way.

— Nita Harris, M.D.

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