Preparing for the Greater Columbia Area transportation future involves careful planning. How does transportation affect our air quality? What is the condition of our roads and bridges? What kinds of facilities and services are needed to support planned growth or improve the safety of our transportation system? These are just some of the questions addressed by the Columbia Area Transportation Study (COATS) Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) as it prepared the 2008 Update to its 2035 Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).
The LRTP serves as a blueprint that guides the Greater Columbia Metropolitan Area’s transportation development over a 30-year period. Updated every five (5) years to reflect changing conditions and new planning principles, the LRTP is based on projections of growth and travel demand coupled with financial assumptions. The LRTP specifically looks at major urban transportation planning concerns as environmental/air quality; complete access to transportation; alternative transportation modes (bicycle and pedestrian), the impact of land development on the transportation system; highway traffic congestion; and maintenance of the existing infrastructure.
In December 2008, the COATS MPO published the 2035 Long-Range Transportation Plan. This document was prepared in compliance with federal requirements (CFR 450.332). The 2035 Update was completed and approved on December 18, 2008.
The paramount purpose of our transportation system is to enhance and sustain the quality of life and economic vitality of the region. This will be accomplished through collaboration, sound development, maintenance, and management of a transportation system that meets the accessibility and mobility needs of people and goods in the region through safe, secure, environmentally prudent, and financially sound means.
Central to the LRTP is protection of the value of investments already made in developing the transportation system, while providing resources to pursue innovative solutions to mobility constraints and enhancing travel choices available, and projects that vision over a 30-year period.
o Consultation – work with transportation partners in identifying critical transportation issues and determining the principles for implementation.
o Mobility – promote efficient movement of people and goods across all modes of transportation.
o Accessibility – increase connectivity and provide better ways for people to reach important destinations easily.
o Safety – minimize accidents and fatalities on our roadways for all motorized and nonmotorized users.
o Security – support homeland security and safeguard the personal security of all motorized and nonmotorized users.
o Economic Vitality – provide an efficient, interconnected transportation system to advance and support the economic well-being of the region.
o Environment – protect and enhance the environment, support social justice, promote energy conservation, promote consistency between transportation improvements and local planned growth patterns.
o Finance – ensure by minimizing cost, wisely applying existing resources while seeking innovative funding sources, and expanding opportunities for preserving existing transportation system.
In accordance with Senate Bill 355, ACT 114, COATS MPO has developed three prioritized list projects. These project lists have been identified below.
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