MPO to host open house to kick off long range transportation plan

newspaperThe Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (SAWMPO) will hold a public open house Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 4:30-7 p.m. at Wilson Middle School in Fishersville to kick off the development of a Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The public is invited to hear a brief presentation, review maps and information and provide input  to improve the region’s transportation system. Focus areas include improving safety on roadways and at intersections, expanding the network of bicycle and pedestrian facilities like sidewalks, bike lanes and trails, and developing additional transit services.
The SAWMPO was formed earlier this year when the area was designated as an urbanized area following the 2010 census. As part of the MPO, the three jurisdictions work together to coordinate transportation planning and projects that improve the region’s quality of life by addressing transportation safety and mobility, and economic vitality.
MPOs are required to have a long-range plan spanning 25 years for roadway, non-motorized and transit projects. The SAWMPO LRTP will identify existing traffic conditions, crash locations, travel patterns, anticipated challenges (congestion, new growth and development) and present a list of improvements.
The LRTP, known as “SAW Transportation 2040” will take approximately 18 months to complete. “Public input is extremely critical to the development of ‘SAW Transportation 2040,” stated Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission Transportation Planner Ann Cundy. “We want to make sure the plan reflects the priorities of the region’s residents and hope they will actively participate in this process.” A second public workshop will be scheduled towards the end of the planning cycle, when a draft plan will be presented for further feedback.