The MPO and consultants presented four alternative versions for the Vision 2070 Plan. Participants voted with their cell phones on components of the plan.
The plans were well developed with excellent presentations. The plans noted that transportation, land use, and economic development all needed to be coordinated.
The region is growing by 10,000 people each year and that growth is projected to continue. The MPO has about 800,000 people now with 500,000 more people anticipated by 2070.
1. Add a north south road. The plan as shown does not add a major north south road during the next 50 years. This means that the growth must be accommodated by the existing Rt 41, Rt 301, and I-75. I recommend that the plan be revised to include a new major north south road east of I-75. The right of way should be identified and slowly acquired. The right of way should be wide enough to permit a major road, utilities, open space and environmental corridors.
2. Add a road connecting the islands to the mainland. Congestions on the three roads connecting the barrier islands to the mainland is increasing. The MPO should study a potential forth connection on the University Parkway alignment. This connects the barrier islands with the Airport and I-75. The road should be a parkway with wetland and park space on both sides of the road connection.
3. Develop a grid road extension plan. The plan does not identify section line roads to be connected and extended. This is critical. The MPO, the Counties, and the municipalities should work together to create a detailed map showing all proposed new completions of the grid.