A Series of Meetings to Review Transportation Funding Priorities
WHY SHOULD I BE INTERESTED?
Because despite assurances, not nearly enough priority has been accorded to the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and to mass transit.
WHO'S HOLDING THE MEETINGS?
Charleston Area Transportation Study: CHATS
(...the following was copied from the brochure explaining the meetings)
CHATS is a regional transportation planning partnership serving the BCD (Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester Counties) metropolitan area. CHATS stands for Charleston Area Transportation Study, a name that was chosen when the organization was founded in the 1960’s. CHATS is a federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which means it has the responsibility for setting priorities for federal transportation spending in the region. In South Carolina, there are 10 MPO’s, including CHATS, that work in partnership with federal agencies, SC Department of Transportation, and local residents and jurisdictions.
What is the Long Range Transportation Plan?
The Long Range Plan describes current and projected transportation conditions in the region, outlines priorities and parameters for project selection, and lists specific transportation improvement projects that need to be completed. If a project is not included in the scope of the Long Range Plan, it is not eligible for federal funding through the MPO. The plan needs to be updated regularly (federal regulations say every 3-5 years) so that it accurately reflects the changing conditions of our transportation network The Long Range Plan also does not cover improvements to rural facilities outside of the urbanized area.
Why do regional transportation planning?
Because many of the transportation challenges facing our area are regional in nature. Roads and transit networks do not generally stop at city or county boundaries, and growth from one area often can create traffic in another. Working together, a regional partnership is the best way to take a “big picture” look at these issues, and decide what is the best way to address them.
How does this plan impact me?
The Long Range Plan sets the priorities for what transportation improvements happen in your community. If you drive, walk, bicycle, or ride in the community, you interact with our transportation network. If a specific project or improvement is important to you – including a particular road improvement, a transit route, or a bicycle/pedestrian facility – you need to have your voice heard.
How are projects prioritized?
There are a combination of strategies used. Quantitative analysis is conducted using data on road traffic volume, accident rates, travel patterns, and other statistics about the functioning of the transportation system. Much of this information is input into a computerized transportation model, which projects future traffic volumes on area roads, and is used to analyze the relative impacts of various proposed improvements. Public input is also very important, identifying the priorities and needs in the community. There are a variety of ways to get involved in the process – make sure to let us know if you would like to be.
How will projects be funded?
The largest source of funding for transportation improvements in South Carolina are the state and federal gas taxes. Other financing tools are available, but may require a special action from either local or state level decision makers. The annual funding program – called the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) – shows the current allocation of funding for projects in the area.
(From Charleston Moves: This is another chance for people who understand the urgency of planning good transportation --- especially transportation alternatives --- to let their voices be heard. Though we're the last ones to celebrate traffic jams and though we understand the need to try to fix them, we must tell the politicians that doing so by automobile and asphalt alone is NOT what our communities need.)
Here is a list of the meetings and locations.
- Thursday, Nov. 5 - 6:00 - 8:00pm Hanahan H.S., 6015 Murray Drive, Hanahan
- Mon., Nov. 9 - 6:00 - 8:00pm - College Park Middle School 713 College Park Rd, Ladson
- Tues., Nov. 10 - 6:00 - 8:00pm - Summerville H.S. 1101 Boone Hill Rd., Summerville
- Thurs., Nov. 12 - 6:00 - 8:00pm Ft. Dorchester H.S. , 8500 Patriot Blvd, North Charleston
- Mon., Nov. 16th 6:00 - 8:00pm Moultrie Middle School, 645 Coleman Blvd, Mt. Pleasant
- Thursday, November 19th 6:00 - 8:00pm West Ashley H.S., 4060 Wildcat Blvd, Charleston