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Thread: Small town in Texas transportation plan effort

  1. #1
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    Small town in Texas transportation plan effort

    Hello:
    A quick question - I hope - that is we are a small but fast growing area near Austin, and are not blessed with a lot of cash to spend on a full scope transportation plan, but are trying in a strong effort to begin laying lines (or potential routes) on paper for adoption by our Council.

    We formed a committee consisting of several transportation engineers, and an transportation planner/engineer, and other local entities for input (school district) and EMS/Fire.

    What I am encountering is a lot of concerns and questions of why we weren't doing the studies and impact analyses for this plan before adopting something. However, we as staff and the Council feel that doing nothing before the developers arrive leaves us at the mercy of the developers not having to help construct infrastructure; and at the same time creating tension within the City by neighbors who are afraid of loss of value in their properties where the potential routes may come.

    So, the primary question for the day is: are their regional or national funding organizations that anyone is aware of that can provide funding assistance for a plan, or is there anyone else who has gone through something like this that can offer advice that will help us with working with the neighbors on providing some proactive planning in advance of the City's ability to afford the full blown planning of transportation needs, along with drainage, and a revision to our Comp plan?

    Thanks.
    JT

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    I'm not too familiar with your area, but it would seem like the local MPO would be a good place to start for funding and overall assistance.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  3. #3
    maudit anglais
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    I have no clue as to the regulations in your neck of the woods but would think that any plan adopted without some form of study could be easily circumvented from a legal standpoint. Is it possible to get the developers to fund all or part of the required studies? That is typically what happens up here when areas not currently planned are subject to development application.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    I would have to agree with Planderella. Check out your local MPO or regional development authority. Oftentimes they have the resources to do these types of studies for a lot less than a typical consultant. I am not familiar with your local laws, but it would seem that putting in place a plan without a study is possibly on some shaky legal ground.

  5. #5
    fellafromdrippin, start with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which has an adopted regional plan through the year 2030. PM me if you'd like more info.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    A transportation plan should not need an exhaustive EA type of an analysis. 80-90 percent of what you will spend your funding on is to preserve the current system, with the rest being spent to make the system safer, improving connectivity between modes (paths, bikes, buses, frieght), or address capacity issues. I'd check and see if there are any air quality issues that may cause conformity problems with your MPO. Just to ensure that the plan works someone should model it (perhaps the MPO can do this for you).
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  7. #7
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Howdy from your county seat.

    I would obviously start with CAMPO from a funding point-of-view. As far as what studies you might want to include, San Marcos did their Transportation Master Plan about three years ago and could give you an idea of the types of studies you should include. We let our engineering department run that process, so I'm not as intimately familiar with it. I'll see if I have an electronic version to send you along with a good contact.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  8. #8
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    CAMPO

    Quote Originally posted by BikePlanIt View post
    fellafromdrippin, start with the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which has an adopted regional plan through the year 2030. PM me if you'd like more info.
    I e-mailed over there and have to get a response from Chris Ramser. We are not trying to be overly ambitious with this plan; but trying to probably lay out some corridors ultimately to alert developers as to our desires and intentions. It's the engineering, planning, and market that will drive the ultimate locations if I don't miss my guess.

    Not sure how much the folks over at CAMPO will be able to help. Until recently the entire County wasn't part of CAMPO. For the longest only the Buda area was in, but in the last couple of years they finally brought the entire County into it's planning region.

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