Thursday, July 25, 2024

Rail relocation, bike paths, street plans — here’s your chance to comment on long-range transportation plans

The metropolitan transportation plan looks 25 years ahead on transportation needs within the Wilmington metropolitan area.

WILMINGTON — The year 2045 might seem like the distant future but, for the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization, it’s never too early to start planning. On Tuesday, WMPO officially kicked off the Cape Fear Moving Forward 2045 Plan and began the public input process for the plan.

“This metropolitan transportation plan will look at the next 25 years and address a broad spectrum of transportation needs for the Wilmington metropolitan area, which includes New Hanover County and parts of Brunswick and Pender Counties. The plan will include an evaluation of potential roadway, rail, freight, bus, ferry, aviation, bicycle, and pedestrian projects,” according to Mike Kozlosky, executive director for WMPO.

The plan will become the replacement for the current Cape Fear Transportation 2040 plan, which expires in 2020. But the new plan wont be ready for at least another two years, Kozlosky said.

By law, the long-range plan must be updated every five years.

“The new metropolitan transportation plan (MTP) is a federally mandated assessment of the region’s current and future transportation needs for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods inthe Wilmington MPO area,” according to the plan’s website.

The WMPO hosted a kickoff event for the Moving Forward 2045 Plan to begin public engagement on the future plan (Port City Daily photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)
The WMPO hosted a kickoff event for the Moving Forward 2045 Plan to begin public engagement on the future plan (Port City Daily photo/MICHAEL PRAATS)

The WMPO might be in charge of drafting the plan, but residents have several chances to have their voices heard including multiple open house meetings in May, and an online survey which is available now.

An interactive map is also available for public use and people can place markers at specific locations and voice their concerns with specific areas.

“This is the first part of our public outreach and engagement campaign. We have our interactive map which will allow people to click on a location and identify a problem or recommendation. We also have a survey … and then we’ll collect this information until July 31,” Kozlosky said.

The WMPO serves three counties, and seven municipalities in the region and will be making presentations to various boards and commissions in April, followed by open house meetings in May.

The current plan which will expire in 2020 has seen several projects come to fruition, as well as began construction in its time period including the Wilmington Bypass and the widening of Kerr Avenue. A full list of projects as well as the survey and other information regarding the 2045 plan can be found online.


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