Capitol Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Collects Public Input
JEFFERSON CITY - Sonny Sanders flipped through the slides on his PowerPoint presentation, each one filled with pictures of roads, bridges, sidewalks, and a footnote with a dollar amount of federal funds used to execute the project. The Tanner Bridge roundabout, the rehabilitation of the Highway 63 bridge in Callaway County, the Holts Summit school sidewalks, JEFFTRAN bus route changes, and many more projects appeared on Sanders' presentation, which he proudly presented as part of the Capitol Area Metropolitan Planning Organization's project leadership.
But Sanders, a transportation planner for CAMPO, wasn't at the Jefferson City Municipal Building Thursday night to boast about CAMPO's accomplishments. He was there to illustrate to people what the organization was capable of for future projects. And future projects is exactly what Sanders wanted to know.
CAMPO held its second public input session for its Long Range Transportation Plan. The organization is in charge of developing transportation projects in Jefferson City, and the incorporated areas around it. Holts Summit, Wardsville, St. Martins, Taos and New Bloomfield are all included in CAMPO's plans.
The public voiced their opinions on what they believe CAMPO should work on through 2035. Sanders said he heard plenty of comments about changing the JEFFTRAN public bus hours to include nights and weekends.
"What we hear is JEFFTRAN is doing good job when they are operating, but there's a need for service in the evenings, perhaps service on the weekends, even if it's reduced service," said Sanders.
Sanders also said he wanted to see better connectivety between all the modes of transportation, including buses, sidewalks and AMTRAK services.
"Building that connectivety of a sidewalk between bus shelters and retail establishments, to work, to another bus stop really works," he said.
CAMPO is also considering adding more detailed signs to landmarks in the city, to help visitors and freight truckers navigate Jefferson City.
"Way finding is something I believe a lot of economic development organizations and chambers see as a way to get people to where they want to go. If we're trying to attract toursists, people across the river on their bike...it'd be nice for them to know the Capitol is this way, tourist information is this way."
Sanders also pointed out that the area would grow in the future, if population growth adhered to state demographer numbers. The current population of the planning area is roughly 71,00 people. By 2035, it could grow to 83,572 people. Growth in Holts Summit and Wardsville over the past five years led to this expected increase in population.
The federal government requires an urbanized area (a city with more than 50,000 people in it) to develop transportation projects it plans to improve every five years. CAMPO must have its Long Range Transportation Plan ready by April 16, and will present the plan to the organization's board of directors on April 17. If they approve it, a 30 day public comment period begins before it takes effect.
You can view CAMPO's official work program, including budget and area covered by the organization here.