Regional Transportation (TR) Assessment Report: The Assessment Report will be developed by the Transportation Task Force. There are numerous organizations involved in transportation, including the MPO, a regional planning commission, ten county highway departments, fixed route transit, specialized transit, bike groups, rail groups, and airports.
There are a multitude of existing plans for all modes of transportation – most of which have a common goal, which is to provide and maintain a safe, efficient, cost-effective, and easily accessible transportation system. We have over 18,500 miles of roads, 19 airports, three major rail lines, and three fixed route transit systems. Yet what these plans don’t have in common is a framework to tie everything together on a broader scale. This is something that has not been done before in any detailed manner. Existing transportation plans will be integrated into applicants’ plans when appropriate, such as MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan, bike plans, State plans and studies, and the transportation chapters of locally adopted comprehensive plans. A regional plan will help reduce sprawl development, congestion, and enhance multimodal options (including intercity connections).
Other transportation issues include the coordination of bike plans and the Safe-Routes-to School planning projects. Transportation must be coordinated, so that it offers convenient access to transit systems, such as park & ride lots, and maximizes links to recreational trails. We will look at the region and determine deficiencies and projects to improve the overall transportation system in a sustainable way. A primary goal of this effort is to improve the efficiency of the region’s transportation system within the context of the state and national transportation systems. This will also examine public infrastructure needs and determine the most cost effective projects.