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Alliance asking for input on transportation plan

Published September 17. 2019 12:38PM

As you drive area roads, do you find yourself wishing someone would change the road’s conditions?

Do you wonder why one road project takes precedence over another?

Soon you’ll have a chance to let your opinion be heard.

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance is updating its 20-year regional long-range transportation plan. The plan is a blueprint for the region’s decision-making on transportation projects and will serve as a spending plan through the year 2045.

As part of the update process, the NEPA Metropolitan Planning Organization is inviting residents of Carbon, Monroe, Pike and Schuylkill counties to participate at open houses scheduled throughout the region on Sept. 24 and 25.

Attendees will have the opportunity to share their opinions, interests and concerns about Northeastern Pennsylvania’s regional transportation system with staff members from the NEPA MPO and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Public input received at the open houses will help drive the final plan recommendations and advance future transportation projects aimed at improving safety, mobility and economic development.

“Schuylkill County is one of four counties that participate in the NEPA MPO along with Pike, Monroe and Carbon counties,” said Susan A. Smith, director of planning, Schuylkill County. “Counties across Pennsylvania are divided into MPOs and Rural Planning Organizations.”

“MPOs are partnerships between different government levels, transportation providers, and the public collaborating on transportation planning for the planning area,” Smith said. “As stated in our current plan, the LRTP identifies existing and potential future transportation improvement needs.”

Can’t make a meeting? The NEPA MPO has also made available an online survey to gauge public input and opinion for those who are not able to attend an in-person meeting.

The online survey can be completed at www.NEPA-LRTP.metroquest.com.

NEPA MPO is leading the update of the transportation plan, in cooperation with PennDOT and with technical consulting assistance from Michael Baker International Inc. The plan development is being guided by an advisory committee consisting of representatives from the region’s four counties and three transit agencies, PennDOT and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“This process is a regional conversation and an important opportunity for those who live and work within the region to discuss how we want to address transportation and traffic issues over the long-term,” said Alan Baranski, vice president at NEPA Alliance. “We all have a stake in those decisions, for our own future and economic competitiveness.”

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