2040 RTP Outcomes Summary


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Summary of input gained from the first rounds of committee meetings and public meetings (July-September 2012) for the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan.

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2040 RTP Outcomes Summary

  1. 1. 2040 RTP OUTCOMES SUMMARY: PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT EFFORTS2040 Regional Transportation Plan Public Engagement EffortsChattanooga‐Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency (RPA)Melissa Taylor, Director Strategic Long Range PlanningProject LeadOffice: 423.643.5944, Email: taylor_melissa@chattanooga.govSummary of ProgressIn July 2012, the RPA on the behalf of the TPO, began seeking public input on the 2040 RegionalTransportation Plan (RTP) through a variety of meetings and workshops. To date, the RTP team hashosted the following events: Community Advisory Committee (CAC) Meeting #1, July 25th (38 participants) Core Technical Team (CTT) Meeting #1, July 26th (29 participants) Transit Aspirations Workshop, August 22nd (34 participants) Leadership Symposium, August 23rd (85 participants) Public Open House, August 23rd (32 participants) Stakeholder Interviews with interest groups, August 23rd (6 participants) Climate Adaptation and Transportation Resiliency Workshop, September 17th (15 participants)The following summary reports represent a synthesis of the ideas, challenges, concerns, frustrations,and interests expressed during each event. A separate summary of the Leadership Symposium activitiesis also included.To further facilitate interest in the process and to share plan progress, the RPA created a Plan webpage:http://www.chcrpa.org/2040RTP.htm and Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/2040RTP. Toobtain more detailed public input, a questionnaire was distributed to the TPO TCC/Board meetings, atpublic outreach events, and made available online (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2040RTP). Thequestionnaire and public event notices were provided in Spanish. To date, we have received more than320 responses. The questionnaire will close October 31st.
  2. 2. 2040 RTP OUTCOMES SUMMARY: PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT EFFORTSCOMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (CAC) & CORE TECHNICAL TEAM (CTT) MEETINGSJuly 25 & 26, 2012, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM - Development Resource Center, Conference Room 3BChallenges & Frustrations – Summary Report38 CAC and 29 CTT members attended a presentation of the RTP process, and provided input ontransportation-related challenges and frustrations in the region.TRANSIT Local funding for transit ranks in the bottom 10% nationally. Access to jobs via transit is limited. Improvement in state and federal agency coordination is needed to better serve the disabled and those living in rural areas (special transportation services). Better utilization of the existing transit fleet is needed. The benefits and impacts of transit need to be quantified.AIRPORT Increases in cargo freight volume and passenger travel at airport is creating a need for new and upgraded infrastructurePARKING Parking is challenging in downtown Chattanooga and at UTC.FUNDING, POLICY & PROCESS A long-term approach to funding for operations and maintenance, transit, and the Chickamauga Lock is needed. The process of planning, funding, and constructing road infrastructure is slow and underfunded. We need to communicate effectively with the public and public officials.AUTO-CENTRICITY The transportation system and the local mentality create a focus on moving people out of the city rather than developing neighborhoods. We cannot build ourselves out of congestion; we need to find other ways to maximize the existing system. Quality of life considerations of transportation projects need to play a role.CONNECTIVITY AND ACCESS: PROBLEM AREAS Transit in sprawling areas UTC to downtown Bicycle and pedestrian facilities To major assets (national parks)- we need to determine how to maximize the use of our historic sites while preserving for future generations Schools are located away from housing and transportation facilities
  3. 3. 2040 RTP OUTCOMES SUMMARY: PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT EFFORTSTRANSIT ASPIRATIONS WORKSHOPAugust 22, 2012, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM – Ray Evans Transit CenterSummary ReportThe RPA invited local partners with an interest in transit planning to participate in a half-day transitaspirations workshop with the purpose of developing a consensus-based transit vision for theChattanooga region in 2040. 34 participants, including 10 representatives from RPA and consultingteam and 7 representatives from CARTA/SETHRA, gave input.Where are we now with transit? Transit service provision in the region has seen severe cuts, largely due to financial constraints. Geography and topography add to the challenges for transit service and access to service. Throughout much of the region current transit coverage is sparse. The free downtown shuttle has proven to be an enduring success for twenty years. Tourists will continue to expect transit and will provide a market for transit in the future. The auto-centricity of recent commercial and industrial development has created congestion and an increasing desire for alternative mobility options.Where are we going? Trends, development and directions that will impact transit in the region New employment opportunities and residential and commercial development will continue to occur outside of the central city area and in areas largely not served by transit. Enterprise South is one key area to connect by transit. Increases in Chattanooga Airport passenger traffic will create demand for transit service there. Demographic trends related to age groups present an opportunity for transit expansion: the U.S. population is aging and will increasingly require transit. At the same time, younger people are driving less and looking for alternatives to automobile-based mobility. Vision for Transit in Chattanooga in 2040 The Chattanooga Region will capitalize on 20 years of successful innovative electric shuttle bus technology to provide efficient transit service for more people to more places, stimulating economic development and revitalizing our region.How do we get there? Strategies to achieve the vision: Engage employers and business partners as part of the process as this is considered a primary funding opportunity for the future. Include further diversity as part of the process, especially actual transit users. Access to transit service for the aging, young, poor, and disabled must be a priority. Post-workshop survey results suggest the following prioritization of strategies: o Most Important: Embrace new technologies for vehicles and information o More important: (1) Improve bus operating speeds with exclusive bus lanes and new technologies; (2) Expand to new areas with new routes o Somewhat Important: Expand hours and frequency of service on existing routes
  4. 4. 2040 RTP OUTCOMES SUMMARY: PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT EFFORTSLEADERSHIP SYMPOSIUMAugust 23, 2012, 8:15 AM-12:00 PM – The Chattanoogan Hotel, Ballroom 1 & 2Summary Comments89 Attendees, including 13 representatives from the RPA and consulting team, gave feedback onplanning themes and mapped their visions for transportation projects in the region, including bus transit,rapid transit, road widening, new roads, multi-use paths, and multimodal street improvements.MOBILITY & CONNECTIVITY Sprawling growth patterns are the most challenging development patterns for our communities. Additionally, mountains and rivers present topographical challenges to development. Most participants believe there is or should be an appetite for managing access along critical corridors. The majority expressed that multimodal investments are more vital for urban areas and expected growth areas than in suburban and rural areas.ENVIRONMENT GREENPRINT Rivers, mountains, parks, trails, and farmland are the most valuable environmental features and green spaces of the region. Protective zoning, including buffers between developments, are needed to protect green spaces. The region lacks a vision for green space, but this regional vision/master plan is needed. A local government, regional entity, or the Trust for Public Land should spearhead this effort. Participants were most supportive of transit, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and emissions testing as mechanisms for improving air quality.REGIONAL COLLABORATION Participants agreed that collaboration across jurisdictions needs improvement. Transportation issues- transit in particular- and economic issues would both benefit from greater regional collaboration. The 2040 RTP can serve as a model for regional collaboration and help integrate planning efforts, such as Thrive 2055.ECONOMIC VITALITY Transit, walking, biking, and the airport are the greatest transportation priorities that will ensure the region is well positioned to be competitive coming out of the recession. Transportation should contribute to quality of life and should offer multimodal options. In order for the region to be successful, transportation policy should embrace complete streets.
  5. 5. 2040 RTP OUTCOMES SUMMARY: PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT EFFORTSSTAKEHOLDER INTERVIEWSAugust 24, 2012 – Development Resource CenterSummary CommentsQUALITY OF LIFE INTERVIEW4 interviewees representing Lyndhurst Foundation, Great Eastern Trail, Cumberland TrailWhat are the regional issues that could be addressed through transportation? Multimodal transportation: more facilities, better connections, improved access, greenways Improved parking Stable funding for transportationWhat would help improve the region’s quality of life? A punctual, robust transit system and a culture of transit as a commuting choice Additional east-west connections Improving and promoting dense urban centers as places to live Protecting ridgelines and viewshedsHow could we change or enhance our policy measures? More appreciation of floodplain preservation through non-motorized travel More use could be made of preserving green infrastructureWhat are your top projects? Greenways: N Chickamauga Trail; Completed greenway master plan Bicycle Facilities: A network of “low-stress” bike routes and separated bike facilities - most roads in the region not currently suitable for bikesDEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMIC VITALITY INTERVIEW2 attendees, representing National Parks Service and McKee Foods, were asked about the role oftransportation in the economic vitality of the region.How important is transportation to economic vitality?McKee Perspective: Highway access and travel times are very important elements of transportation that impact economic development. McKee does not rely on rail due to excessive vibration of products. There’s some concern about the increase in freight traffic through the region as a result in changes to Panama Canal and increased volume of Atlantic maritime ports. We cannot have a bottleneck through Chattanooga; a bypass east of Chattanooga should be a priority. Completing Corridor K is considered very important to the economic vitality of the region.Parks Service Perspective: The major corridors are clogged with commuters coming from far outside the region. This is impacting the accessibility of the local towns to tourists. This is important because there aren’t overnight accommodations at the surrounding parks. Visitors need good access to easy wayfinding, and wayfinding is an issue in the region. A coordinated strategy between states and cities as well as between towns and parks is recommended. Rossville Blvd is dilapidated, but it could be an enhanced corridor that supports local access.
  6. 6. 2040 RTP OUTCOMES SUMMARY: PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT EFFORTSCLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND TRANSPORTATION RESILIENCY WORKSHOPSeptember 17, 2012, 8:15 AM-3:00 PM – Development Resource Center, Room 1ASummary CommentsThe 18 attendees of the climate change adaptation workshop identified through a series of activitiescritical and vulnerable transportation assets as well as climate adaptation strategies to address thepotential impacts.ASSETSThe following five transportation assets are both critical to the region and vulnerable to climate changeimpacts, such as changing precipitation and increasing temperatures: Chickamauga Lock and Dam, Chattanooga Airport and SR 153 access, Interchange of I-75/I-24, Enterprise South road and rail access, and Downtown bridges.IMPACTSThe attendees identified a number of specific impacts that are likely to occur in the Chattanooga regionif precipitation and temperature patterns change. These included flooding, erosion, road closures,landslides and other earthwork failures, pavement cracking and rutting, bridge expansion, and airporttake and landing issues, among many others.CLIMATE ADAPTATION STRATEGIESThe attendees identified a number of climate adaptation strategies to address the impacts. Someexamples include planning transportation infrastructure to avoid flood zones, establishing emergencydetour routes, hardening/stabilizing slopes, using different types of pavement, and increasingmaintenance of culverts, among many others.