Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Draft of Regional Transportation System Plan Released for Public Comment

Last week our Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study, released the draft 2011-2035 Regional Transportation System Plan.
The review period will run from March 31 to May 9, 2011.

During this period, SKATS will hold several open houses and a public hearing. The public hearing will be held on April 26, 2011 at 12:00 noon in the Pringle Hall Community Center located at 606 Church St SE in Salem. Check the calendar on the COG's website for details on the open houses and other events. In addition, SKATS staff are available to make presentations regarding the content of the RTSP to interested groups.

The RTSP is available, as a PDF, either as one document [big pdf], or as individual chapters. A printed copy of the RTSP is also available at the Salem Public Library and at our office at 105 High St SE in Salem.
The RTSP is in many ways a compiliation, and it coordinates plans from Salem, Keizer, Turner, Marion County, Cherriots, and the State. It does not generally originate road projects and it is not the place to look for novelty or change.

So it's not clear what might change with public comment. In any case, it's never a bad idea remind planners that bicycling meets nearly every key objective of the plan:
Provide a multimodal system
A multimodal system provides the residents of the area choices for their transportation needs, has the potential to decrease overall congestion, and to reduce pollutants and greenhouse gases creation. It also provides a measure of resiliency.
Maximize the efficient use of the existing infrastructure
Building new roads and widening existing roads is expensive. The region should continue to promote and fund travel demand options, system management techniques, and other cost‐effective projects that increase the carrying capacity of the regional system in order to limit the necessity and costs of expanding the roadway system.
Reduce the impact to the environment and natural systems


Limits the increase in congestion during the peak hours along the regional corridors
Send comments to skats@mwvcog.org.

I'll try to have more detailed thoughts later after I've read through it. Hopefully others will read and chime in with their own analysis!

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Another thing to comment on is the importance of greenhouse gas reduction. At present the policy committee views it as an "unfunded mandate." The preferred solution is to expand road capacity as a way to eliminate bottlenecks and reduce congestion.

A better solution would be to build a truly multi-modal transportation system that reduce the number of drive-alone car trips.