Metropolitan planning organizations meet: Explore cooperative projects in public transit, infrastructure

newspaperPolicy Boards of the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) from Charlottesville-Albemarle (CAMPO) and the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro (SAWMPO) held a joint meeting October 8th at the Crozet Public Library in Albemarle County.

The meeting marked the first time these two groups have gathered to discuss a number of mutually shared transportation interests and projects, including multimodal needs along the I-64/Route 250 corridor connecting the two MPOs, the need for public transit between the two regions, and the Crozet Tunnel. In the spirit of inter-regional cooperation and collaboration, an Inter-City Regional Bus Plan process that involves the two MPOs, in addition to the Harrisonburg Rockingham MPO, is already underway.

With the boundaries of the two MPOs only seven miles apart at Rockfish Gap/I-64 Exit 99, and residents of both regions making trips between the two for work, medical appointments, shopping, and leisure, teaming up to stretch resources and address transportation issues is critical, according to SAWMPO Chair Jeff Moore. “Combining forces on a number of projects that impact the residents along the close boundaries of our MPOs will provide the opportunity for better analysis, more precise planning and more efficient execution of much-needed transportation improvements in both regions. It just makes good sense for our MPOs to communicate and cooperate as closely as possible.”

CAMPO Chair Ann Mallek added: “Bringing the knowledge and expertise of two planning organizations together will without a doubt enhance the roadway, non-motorized and transit projects throughout both regions. Inter-regional collaboration is the most effective way to examine and solve the transportation challenges we face now and into the future, not only because it stretches valuable resources, but because it can inject new perspectives and information into the process.”

The meeting was followed with a walking tour of the newly constructed Crozet streetscape; a project funded through the Transportation Alternative Program grant program. This was the first joint meeting of the two MPOs, and plans are to continue this on an annual basis. The next joint meeting will be held in the SAWMPO region.

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