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CAMPO looks to improve transportation in long-range plan

CAMPO looks to improve transportation in long-range plan

October 11th, 2018 by Nicole Roberts in News

Christopher Kinzel, foreground, and Rick Mihalevich discuss transportation plans Wednesday. CAMPO held an open house for its 2045 and Beyond Metropolitan Transportation Plan.

Photo by Mark Wilson /News Tribune.

It's not unheard of for people to drive through overly congested roads, walk along roads without sidewalks or ride bicycles where there are no bicycle lanes. These are just a few items the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization hopes to address in its new long-range plan.

CAMPO hosted an open house Wednesday at Jefferson City Hall to discuss the beginning stages of its 2045 and Beyond Metropolitan Transportation Plan, a long-range plan that analyzes regional transportation needs over the next 25-plus years.

CAMPO provides transportation planning for the metropolitan area that encompasses Jefferson City, Holts Summit, Taos, Wardsville and St. Martins, along with portions of Cole and Callaway counties.

Federally required, the plan will provide recommended goals and projects for the municipalities and will look at all modes of transportation — roads, bridges, pedestrian walkways, air, railroad, waterways and freight.

The plan will give the municipalities an idea of what their futures may look like, City Transportation Planner Alex Rotenberry said.

"It's helpful for municipalities and counties to know and have an idea of where their growth might go and kind of plan for that themselves," he said. "New infrastructures would require more utilities, and we need to worry about sanitary sewer and power and water and telecommunications."

Ashley Varner, healthy communities coordinator for Capital Region Medical Center Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities, hopes to see several infrastructure improvements in Holts Summit.

"We need some funding and have some projects that are really in need, such as widening of our roads in town so we could actually have complete streets, things for an exit ramp that we've waited years and years and years for," said Varner, a Holts Summit resident. "Then sidewalks, we are so overdue for sidewalks to create safety for the kiddos walking to school, not only for safety but livability. It just enhances your quality of life to have that."

While Ward 2 Jefferson City Councilman Rick Mihalevich did not have specific transportation improvements in mind, he said the plan will need to take into account future projects that could impact transportation in Jefferson City. This includes redeveloping the old St. Mary's Hospital site and Missouri State Penitentiary, repairing the West High Street bridge, and making improvements to the Monroe Street corridor.

Jefferson City completed various projects outlined in CAMPO's 2035 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, which will be replaced by the new plan. The 2035 plan suggested projects like the roundabout at Stadium Boulevard and Jefferson Street, the Lafayette Street interchange, and the pedestrian bridge over the Missouri River bridge.

Having various transportation improvements will improve the communities' population health since there would be new and improved roads, sidewalks, greenways, bicycle lanes and more, Varner said.

CAMPO will host a second open house 4-7 p.m. Oct. 16 at Holt Summit City Hall, 245 S. Summit Drive.

CAMPO is still seeking public comment and encourages residents to take its survey at surveymonkey.com/r/ZHVKCRQ.

CAMPO and consultant HDR Engineering will look at trends and public comment and create various transportation improvement scenarios for its planning area. One scenario, for example, could show residential and commercial growth within the city, where people are redeveloping vacant homes or building on small pieces of land in between developed residential areas.

"But it might be something where instead of filling in the pieces, they're building on big parcels of land that are just farms or waiting to be developed in the future," Rotenberry said. "That would be a different scenario and would change the way the CAMPO region grows."

CAMPO hopes to adopt the final plan by May 2019.