September 23, 2015 – A status report on the progress of the 2045 Quad Cities Long Range Transportation Plan was given by Gena McCullough, Planning Director. Visioning, public input, and development of plan goals and objectives have been underway for the last 18 months.
Public outreach has included or will include the following:
- Household Travel Survey (Winter 2013-14)
- Web-Based Public Engagement – MindMixer (Spring 2014)
- Public Input Meetings (Spring 2014)
- Public Survey Assessment (Fall 2014)
- Other Stakeholder Outreach
- Policy & Technical Committee Meetings (2012-2015)
- Land Use Based – Local Govt. TAZ Future Population-Employment Analysis (Winter 2014-15)
- Mode-Based & Other Safety-Security (Trails Committee, Transit Managers, Air Quality Task Force, Traffic Safety Groups, etc.) (Spring/Summer 2015)
- Multi-Cultural Diversity Public Outreach (Fall 2015)
- Resource Agencies (Fall 2015)
- Presentations to Organizations/Service Clubs/Groups (Spring 2014-Fall 2015)
Other planning efforts have contributed to the plan including Bettendorf and Davenport transit route analyses, development of a web-based interactive trails site, and the Bi-State Region freight plan. With the completion of a full draft, several public meetings will be scheduled in early 2016 to overview the results of the plan.
Staff is currently working on transportation system indicators, performance measures, and targets. Existing conditions for the various modes, such as roads, transit, and bicycle/pedestrian travel, are being compiled. The travel model to predict future traffic is nearing completion. This will help with analyzing, prioritizing, and programming future roadway projects.
The plan must also look at fiscal constraint. Looking 30 years into the future, our selection of road, transit, and trails projects must anticipate what can reasonably be expected in federal, state, and local funds. The Commission received handouts of three listings of projects. Projects were identified as “Needs Further Study,” “Big Projects,” and all roadway projects identified to date. The illustrative projects are those that require feasibility analysis and are likely projects with higher costs. These will require setting priorities and backing by the Quad Cities’ community to pursue the priorities over the long term. “Big Projects” are defined locally as those over $10 million dollars. With limited federal funds, it will be important to focus on projects that improve travel efficiency and reliability as well as support the local economy.
Ms. McCullough shared that one of the consensus priorities coming from the September 22 Transportation Policy and Technical Committees’ roundtable discussion was the need for a major investment study of the Mississippi River corridor, similar to 15 years ago when a 3-pronged approach led us to removing tolls from the Centennial Bridge, reconstruction of I-74 Mississippi River Corridor, and conceptual plans for an east Mississippi River bridge. With recommendations from the Freight Study to look at Mississippi River rail crossing improvements, a major investment study would be well timed to evaluate options to further road and rail crossing ability in the metro area.