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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Communities in Motion 2040: Focus on Maintenance

A prioritized list of 33 transportation corridors and projects for Communities in Motion 2040 (CIM 2040) is open for public comment through noon on Wednesday, September 4. These corridors were identified through an analysis of transportation system needs by the year 2040. In general, they represent improvements to, or expansion of, the current transportation system.

However, financial projections indicate there will not be enough revenue in the future to maintain our current transportation system, much less expand it. Therefore, the COMPASS Board of Directors has chosen to focus all federal transportation funding allocated via CIM 2040 toward maintenance.

What does that mean, and how does it relate to the projects and needs currently open for public comment?

For the purpose of allocating funding through CIM, “maintenance” has been defined as “protecting and preserving existing transportation systems and opportunities.Existing transportation systems include roadways, public transportation, and alternative transportation infrastructure for pedestrians and bicycles. The federal funding for local projects will be split (for maintenance) between roadways (82%), public transportation (15%), and planning/special projects (3%). Some “off the top” funding will also be allocated to Ada County Highway District’s Commuteride program and to COMPASS, before the funds are split.

The prioritized list of 33 transportation corridors and projects focus on improving, or expanding, the system (therefore, not maintenance), and are still vitally important. CIM 2040 must show future transportation needs and priorities. While these needs and priorities will be “unfunded” in the plan, they will help the region focus future efforts and serve as a starting point when looking at potential future funding opportunities.

The list was developed by assessing future growth as shown in the Communities in Motion 2040 Vision, and running a “deficiency analysis” to see which corridors will likely be the most congested as we grow. Current and future issues surrounding those corridors and the potential future transit system were summarized and the Communities in Motion 2040 Planning Team used that information to rank the corridors/projects in priority order from priority #1 (improvements along I-84 from Centennial Way to Franklin Boulevard in Canyon County) to priority #33 (build a connection between Beacon Light Road and Purple Sage Road, crossing the Ada/Canyon County line).

I encourage you to weigh in on the prioritized list of projects and corridors. Do you agree or disagree with the priorities? Why? We’ll pass your comments along to the COMPASS Board to consider before they act on this list and it becomes part of the draft CIM 2040 plan. The full draft CIM 2040 plan will be available for public comment in spring 2014. Click here to submit your comments – due by noon, Wednesday, September 4.




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Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho

COMPASS is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization responsible for transportation planning in Ada and Canyon Counties. The COMPASS Board comprises 39 members representing the cities, counties, highway districts, educational institutions, state agencies, and other entities within the two counties. COMPASS plays an important role in making decisions about future long-range transportation needs in the Treasure Valley, taking into consideration environmental and economic factors that affect the quality of life.