You may not have realized it, but you have just one week left to comment on MORPC’s CapitalWays Regional Transportation Plan. What is this plan? You can read about it below, but basically it programs how the region’s transportation money will be used until 2030, and will therefore affect the way you live and travel well beyond 2030. I would argue that commenting on the plan could be more important than voting. Politicians come and go. Transportation infrastructure sticks around for a very, very long time. Plus, so few people comment that your voice is very likely to be heard. You should definitely send comments. Read on:
The CapitalWays Regional Transportation Plan is a forward-looking plan, anticipating the needs of Central Ohio through the year 2030. Predicting how busy roads will likely be, how much people will travel, and where people will be going, a Regional Transportation Plan pinpoints where we will need new roads, repairs to old roads, expanded transit service, and more bikeways.
The CapitalWays Plan entails many components: safety, freight, roads, bikeways, pedestrian services, public transit, transportation maintenance, transportation security, the Intelligent Transportation System (which includes computerized message boards), analysis for air quality, and the forecasting of future land use.
MORPC develops its regional transportation plan over the course of four years. First, transportation planners analyze land use and development data and establish the region’s future situation in terms of the numbers and locations of people and jobs. Then, they work with local governments, transit agencies, state agencies, and members of the private sector that have a role in transportation to identify viable transportation projects. Finally, they devise strategies to meet the transportation needs of the people studied in the original analysis.
…Comments and questions may be submitted by email or sent to Robert E. Lawler, Director of Transportation, 111 Liberty Street, Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43215. Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on April 11, 2008. A resolution adopting the CapitalWays Regional Transportation Plan will be submitted to the MORPC Policy Committee on May 8. MORPC’s Citizen Advisory Committee will take action on this resolution at 5:30 p.m. on April 28, 2008.
The MORPC page contains links to the project report, a list of the evaluated projects, non-evaluated projects, a bunch of very cool GIS maps in .PDF form, and a couple of broken links to the mystical “Detailed Project Evaluation Information.”
Much like the NCAA tournament, approximately 600 projects (teams) were considered for the 2030 transportation plan (tournament), but they can’t all be funded (seeded). Projects with committed funding and significant ODOT projects (won conference tournament) are included as non-evaluated projects. Projects not receiving an automatic bid are evaluated by MORPC (the selection committee) based on “vision, goals, and objectives.” Goals include transportation efficiency (wins), multi-modalism (quality wins), and quality (strength of schedule), and are measured with things like peak travel delay reduction per capita, level of service (LOS) improvement, safety, fuel consumption reduction, etc… Most of the teams evaluated by MORPC don’t get an at-large bid to the Big Dance, but end up on a list of projects that could go to MORPC’s version of the NIT tournament if more funding becomes available in the future, and there’s no shame in that 🙂