Proposed transportation open house set for next week

Published on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 22:32 - Written by Kelly Gooch kgooch@tylerpaper.com

The public has an opportunity to weigh in on proposed transportation projects during an open house next week.

The event is scheduled for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Tyler Senior Center, 1915 Garden Valley Road.

Tyler Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Coordinator Michael Howell said the open house is part of the public input phase for an update to the Metropolitan Transportation Plan — a long-range plan that is updated every five years.

At the event next week, attendees will be asked to rank 13 projects, including the widening of Texas Highway 31 (Front Street) to four lanes east of Loop 323; widening Farm-to-Market Road 756 (Paluxy Drive) to four lanes south of Jeff Davis Drive; and building Segment 6 of Toll 49, which would connect Texas Highway 110 to U.S. Highway 271, Howell said.

Some of the 13 projects are in the existing Metropolitan Transportation Plan and others recently were proposed.

Howell said attendees are asked to address the following: “What do you think is the most important one?”

He said the event also includes a review of what has been done up to this point as far as public input, and informational boards related to the city’s future transportation plans will be displayed.

“Hopefully the more people we can get there, we can really start to get a feel for what the community … really thinks (when it comes to) where we need to be focusing all of our efforts first,” he said.

Whenever consultants believe they have identified proposed rankings, the information will be considered by the MPO’s Technical Committee and will then go to the MPO’s Policy Committee, Howell said.

He said final rankings may be used by the MPO as it looks at its short-range plan. The MPO’s short-range plan, called the Transportation Improvement Program, is updated every two years.

City of Tyler Planning Director Heather Nick previously said the Transportation Improvement Program guides the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration and the Texas Department of Transportation, as well as to local officials, as they budget for planning, design and construction of transportation and transit improvements.

For more information on the Tyler Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, visitwww.cityoftyler.org .