Input On Our Future Transportation System

This post was originally published in similar form on the EugeneSRTS site.

There are few meetings happening this week that will inform and influence our transportation system in the coming years and your input is needed.

On Thursday (Oct. 13th) from 11:30-1:30 the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) is meeting at the Eugene Public Library (100 West 10th Avenue) and will be discussing the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). It’s a good time to let the Commission know that active transportation options are important and that we need more facilities that allow more people feel comfortable walking and biking throughout our community. Public comments (limited to 3 minutes) are at the beginning of the meeting

This would also be a good time to indicate support for some of the projects called out for funding in the next round of Flexible Funding from ODOT. Those projects include the following (more information on each in these letters of support):

  • Blair/Van Buren Active Transportation Corridor
  • West Bank Bike Path completion
  • Regional Bicycle Wayfinding/Signage/Shared Lane Markings
  • Bob Straub Parkway/Mt. Vernon Road Pedestrian Improvements
  • A Bikeshare Feasibility Study
  • A Regional SmartTrips Program
  • Middle Fork Path Phase 2b
  • Highway 99/Roosevelt Pedestrian Improvements
  • Main Street Safety Improvements

Also on Thursday there is an Open House from 4:30 to 6:30 PM, at the Library to discuss the Regional Transportation Plan. The MPC will adopt the RTP in November and we need to make sure that facilities that make walking and biking just as easy (if not easier) than driving are a center piece of that plan. Go to the open house and give feedback on the importance of a great active transportation system. Connect the paths with a system more people will feel comfortable using (families, kids, and those currently not walking or riding as much as they want because they are not comfortable doing so).

Basic info on the RTP: The MPC adopts an updated RTP every 3-4 years. The Metropolitan Policy Committee is comprised of public officials from Springfield, Eugene, Lane County, Coburg, Lane Transit District, and the Oregon Department of Transportation.  The RTP enables our community to receive federal money for transportation and provides a framework for selecting which projects to build with federal money.  There is a draft RTP now available for public review (also at the Eugene and Springfield Public Libraries).

If you can’t make the meetings comments may be sent to mpo@lcog.org (email) or Lane Council of Governments, 859 Willamette, Suite 500, Eugene, OR 97401-2910.  Questions on the RTP may be directed to Paul Thompson (pthompson@lcog.org), Senior Planner, (541) 682-4405.  Submit comments by November 7, 2011 for consideration as part of the adoption process.

Finally, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will be meeting this Thursday as well (5:30-7:30, Sloat Conference Room, Atrium Building, 99 W. 10th) and will be discussing these and other issues including:

  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan Update (20 min)
  • Pavement Preservation Projects-2012 (25 min)
  • Grant Applications (10min)
  • Regional Transportation Plan (30 min)
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Counts (20 min)

Finally, to help inspire you, here is a letter from Sue Wolling, the GEARs Advocacy Committee Chair.  She makes some great points about the need to build an active transportation system for everyone, especially that untapped market of ‘potential bicyclists’. Get inspired and get writing.

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