- Published on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 22:51
- Written by Super User
By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
NEW HANOVER CTY - The Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO) kicked off a process called the "The Cape Fear Transportation 2040 Plan" Tuesday May 21, in the Oleander Room at the Northeast Branch Public Library.
The event included remarks from Citizen Advisory Committee Chair Howard Loving, NC Board of Transportation member Michael Lee and Wilmington MPO Transportation Advisory Committee Chair Laura Padgett.
According to Mike Kozlosky, Executive Director of the Wilmington MPO, "The metropolitan transportation plan will look 25 years into the future and address a broad spectrum of transportation requirements for the entire Wilmington MPO planning area. Creating a metropolitan transportation plan is a federal mandate for MPOs to receive federal and state transportation funding. The plan will include an examination and evaluation of potential roadway, rail, freight, bus, ferry, aviation, bicycle and pedestrian projects in New Hanover County and parts of Brunswick and Pender Counties."
Kozlosky explained, "The Cape Fear Transportation 2040 Plan will include extensive public participation and outreach. The Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) will be working with the Transportation Advisory Committee to draft this plan. The Citizens Advisory Committee has created a survey and plans to conduct broad public outreach throughout the community over the next 18 months to receive citizen input and transportation recommendations. Residents of the Cape Fear region will be able to offer their ideas by visiting the plan’s website, filling out the survey, and attending outreach events. Enthusiastic public participation is essential in preparing a realistic transportation plan."
In addition to looking to the general public for input, the CAC gathers data on the needs and opportunities associated with different transportation modes from committees of subject matter experts. Cape Fear Transportation 2040 will cull data from committees of experts around the following topics: Aviation; Bicycle; Ferry; Freight/Rail; Mass Transit; Pedestrian; Roadways; Transportation Demand Management (TDM) and Transportation Systems Management (TSM).
Kozlosky explained, "It is a federal requirement that area transportation projects funded by the state or federal government be included in this region’s metropolitan transportation plan, which is updated every four years. Cape Fear Transportation 2040 will look at the relationship between regional population growth and the transportation network. Integral to this examination is a look at impacts of transportation projects on quality of life, health and the environment."
Visit www.transportation2040.org for more information or to complete the survey in English or Spanish.
The Cape Fear Transportation 2040 will replace the current plan, Cape Fear Commutes 2035, which will expire in December 2015. According to the MPO, the region has seen a tremendous amount of investments from transportation plans. A few accomplishments from the Cape Fear Commutes 2035 Plan include:
• Gary Shell Cross City Trail construction.
• Wave Transit service to Pleasure Island.
• Wave Transit express bus route (108).
• I-140 Wilmington Bypass (to be completed by 2016).
• Hampstead Bypass Draft Environmental Document.
Cape Fear Transportation 2040 is the federally mandated assessment of the current and future transportation needs of people and goods within the Wilmington MPO area. The plan will consider all modes of transportation, including automobiles, trucks, buses, trains, airplanes, ferries, bicycles, and even walking. The plan will make specific recommendations for transportation projects and funding sources. Public input is a crucial component in identifying transportation needs and projects to address transportation needs. There is a federal requirement to update this plan every 4 years.
The Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (or WMPO) is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the greater Wilmington area. The WMPO consists of these twelve member agencies: New Hanover County, Brunswick County, Pender County, City of Wilmington, Town of Leland, Town of Wrightsville Beach, Town of Carolina Beach, Town of Kure Beach, Town of Belville, Town of Navassa, Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority, and NC Board of Transportation.
For more information on the WMPO visit www.wmpo.org
From May 2013 through Nov 2013 the Cape Fear Transportation 2040 will host open houses throughout the region and collect surveys from citizens.