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Watertown Jefferson County Area Metropolitan Transportation Council Long Range Transportation Plan

The Watertown Jefferson County Area Transportation Council (WJCTC) is in the process of developing a Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The LRTP will describe the state of the existing transportation system, including major roadways, transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and multimodal and intermodal facilities. The Plan will also include proposed transportation facilities and strategies, based on projections for growth and development, and consistent with federally required planning factors and the area's identified goals and objectives out to the year 2045.

The LRTP will also address other related federal initiatives, including:

  • How to improve the movement of freight, which has a significant influence on the region's transportation system.
  • How to promote sustainability through the implementation of projects and programs in the LRTP. Although environmental issues are often the ones that people associate with sustainability, the "triple bottom line" of sustainability also includes equity and the economy.
  • How to promote liveability by coordinating transportation decisions so they help meet the larger goals of the communities' Comprehensive Plans, such as those related to housing, employment, recreation and neighborhood character.
  • How to develop the LRTP to encompass planning for operations, an approach that seeks to resolve at least some of our transportation needs through better system management as opposed to expansion. This approach to transportation planning matches well with sustainability goals because it can lead to transportation solutions that have a lower cost and lower environmental impact.
  • How to respond to the extreme weather events associated with climate change, which can impact the area's transportation system by generating increased flooding, fluctuations of extreme heat and cold, increased frequency of lake effect snow events, and geologic instability.

The LRTP will consider, and incorporate as appropriate, planning activities that are recently completed or ongoing, including those within the WJCTC planning area as well as neighboring areas that share common transportation corridors.

Public input is essential to the development of a quality LRTP to help shape future mobility in the region. The kickoff public meeting has been scheduled for June 14, 6-7:30PM in the Dulles State Office Building, 1st Floor. The kickoff meeting will give community members an opportunity to learn about the WJCTC, the 2045 LRTP, and share their thoughts on the region's existing transportation needs.

Long Range Transportation Plan Activities Transportation Planning

A principal task of the WJCTC is to conduct studies and develop plans that inform and guide members of the Technical Advisory Committee and the Policy Committees in their decisions towards developing the Transportation Improvement Program. The Long Range Plan (LRP) sets the direction for major transportation investments in the WJCTC Planning and Programming Area over a 20 to 25 year horizon.

1. Long Range Plan Development. (FHWA Guidance: A newly-designated MPO does not need to develop a Long Range Plan within the first 12 months. However, the MPO work plan should include tasks and a schedule to develop a Plan (23 CFR 450.308)). This first year will involve reaching out to the public, which will help guide the Policy Committee in determining the direction of the Plan. The effort may involve the development of goals and objectives for the metropolitan planning area, as well as targets for attaining these goals. Timeframes: April 1, 2015-March 31, 2016, 4th quarter (after completion of the Public Participation Plan)

2. General Transit Planning. Provide long term planning and analytical assistance to the local public transit service provider as needed. Timeframes: April 1, 2015- March 31, 2016, 3rd & 4th quarter