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State Transportation Plan

 
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Ellen
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Joined: 15 May 2004
Posts: 209
Location: Oak Ridge, Tennessee

PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 10:58 pm    Post subject: State Transportation Plan Reply with quote

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), now led by Oak Ridge native Gerald Nicely, is in the midst of a project to develop a statewide transportation plan. The plan is supposed to look 25 years into the future, identifying needs and goals for the state's waterways, railroads, transit systems, airports, roadways, bridges, and bicycle/pedestrian facilities.

Cities such as Oak Ridge have much to gain from effectively participating in this type of planning process, and much to lose if our voice is not heard. Industry and commerce depend on access to transportation, and Oak Ridge's future quality of life and attractiveness to business could both be enhanced or harmed by the nature and quality of interconnections with the rest of the Knoxville metro area. Although Oak Ridge is an important element of the Knoxville metro area, our city is not within the jurisdiction served by the Knox Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), and thus must work independently of the MPO to ensure that TDOT understands our needs.

I don't know the details of the City's ongoing and planned involvement in this planning process, but I think it will be more effective if it involves City Council and residents in addition to the City staff. Not only does staff have many diverse demands on their time that can make it difficult to find the resources to participate effectively in the state process, but involvement of elected officials and residents increases both the quality of information available to planners and the municipality's impact on the process. A public hearing will be held in Knoxville (location to be announced) at 6-8 pm on Monday, September 13, 2004, which is the same night as a scheduled City Council work session. I hope plans are being made for City Council representation, and I hope that other residents will mark their calendars now to make plans to attend.
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