Public Outreach Phase for Long Range Transportation Plan Begins

White bike lane markings on a street at night near a crosswalk

Area residents have helped shape transportation in the area. In the past, residents have voiced to the Champaign Urbana Urbanized Area Transportation Study (CUUATS) the desire for a high-speed rail line to Chicago, more bike trails, and restructuring road corridors to help with traffic flow and safety, among other projects.

CUUATS needs public input to continue implementing innovative transportation projects. Residents of Champaign, Urbana, Savoy, Tolono, Bondville, and Mahomet may post comments directly on the map web page. Public input shapes the content of the Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and people may suggest ideas for all modes of transportation: walking, driving, biking, taking the bus or train, or riding on an airplane. CUUATS staff will set up information tables at local events to explain the initiative to the public and collect feedback on transportation.

Rita Morocoima-Black, Director of Planning and Community Development, passes out water bottles and information packets

Rita Morocoima-Black, Director of Planning and Community Development, passes out water bottles and information packets as part of the Long Range Transportation Plan 2040 public outreach initiative.

“It’s difficult to get people to come to meetings, so we like to set up information tables at popular public events around the region” explains Ashlee McLaughlin, a planner with CUUATS. “People seem to really appreciate that we come to their neighborhood. Once we explain the project, people are happy to provide input, good or bad.”

CUUATS completes an updated LRTP every five years. The plan helps secure transportation project funding from state and federal transportation agencies. The plan models proposed projects using a suite of models to predict and evaluate transportation conditions and impacts 25 years into the future. “It’s almost like our brochure for the funding agencies,” says McLaughlin. “When they have funding, or they are looking for places to invest in certain types of projects, the LRTP is the main document for seeing what our regional priorities are.”

Area residents can directly place their comments in the correlating location on the interactive map. People may also star or “like” other residents’ comments if they agree. The map’s web page includes a transportation survey to gauge current and future mobility trends in the area, as well. McLaughlin says the public will shape the 2045 plan by providing feedback.

“That’s the most exciting part for us because it’s a total unknown until we go out and talk to our fellow community members,” she comments. “We received over 2,000 comments on a variety of topics last time and we are continually working to improve our outreach methods.”

The 2040 LRTP iteration can be found on the CUUATS website.

Champaign County staff will be at the following events to collect public input:

Saturday, June 23, 11am to 5pm, Jettie Rhodes Day at King Park in Urbana

Sunday, June 24, 5-9pm, Sounds at Sunset Concert at Garden Hills Park in Champaign

Thursday, June 28, 4-8pm, Neighborhood Block Party at Human Kinetics Park in Champaign

Saturday, June 30, 5-9pm, Tolono Fun Days at West Side Park in Tolono

Saturday, July 7, 2-6pm, Outdoor Concert at Hessel Park in Champaign

Wednesday, July 25, 5:30-9:30pm, Neighborhood Nights Concert at Crestview Park in Urbana

Thursday, July 26, 4-8pm, Neighborhood Block Party at Johnston Park in Champaign

Saturday, July 28, 11am to 3pm, Bags Tournament at Colbert Park in Savoy

Sunday, July 29, 5-9pm, Sounds at Sunset Concert at Eisner Park in Champaign

Friday, August 3, 2:30-8pm, Mahomet Farmer’s Market

Tuesday, August 7, 4-8pm, Neighborhood Block Party at Beardsley Park in Champaign

Wednesday, August 8, 5:30-9pm, Neighborhood Nights Concert at Prairie Park in Urbana

Saturday, August 11, 10am to 5pm, C-U Days at Douglass Park in Champaign

Comments

  1. linda hood says:

    I believe a rail system to Chicago is too expensive. I would like emphasis on maintaining the transportation systems we already have and making certain they are run efficiently and cost effectively. I do also beliee there will be more and more aged and disabled people using public transportation, so systems need to accommodate these issues. Maintaining of our road systems is vitally important. Thank you.

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