Columbia transportation organization to hold hearing on 2 projects

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 | 6:47 p.m. CDT; updated 11:13 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 24, 2011

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Area Transportation Study Organization will hold a public hearing at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the council chambers, 701 E. Broadway, to discuss proposed transportation programs for fiscal 2012 and beyond.

The projects to be discussed at the meeting include documents known as the Unified Planning Work Program and the Transportation Improvement Program. Both focus on fixing sidewalks and streets and making the city more bike- and pedestrian-friendly.

The hearing provides a forum for the public and other departments of city government to learn about the study group's activities and expenditures, Planning and Development Director Tim Teddy said.

The proposed Unified Planning Work Program for fiscal 2012 calls for $405,791 in spending, 80 percent of which would come from a federal consolidated planning grant. The remaining 20 percent will be funded mostly by local taxes.

The main goals of that program for the coming year include creating a comprehensive transportation plan for the city and completing a sidewalk inventory to show existing deficiencies or failures to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, Teddy said.

The Transportation Improvement Program proposal would cover fiscal years 2012 through 2015 at a total cost of more than $94 million. This cost would be covered by a combination of federal money and state and local taxes and revenue.

The Transportation Improvement Program focuses on all transportation projects, including street and sidewalk improvements, construction of the Rolling Hills Road extension, equipment advances for public transit and continued work on GetAbout Columbia, Teddy said.

The public hearings regarding the two projects will take place Thursday at the Daniel Boone City Building as part of the CATSO meeting.

“(The hearing) is an opportunity to raise questions that a person might be interested in about expenditures ... and transportation improvements and services,” Teddy said.

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