Wednesday, July 15, 2009

TPO July 15, 2009

Today the Transportation Planning Organization (TPO), Hampton Roads' Federally-mandated Transportation board, met. Some big news out of today's meeting.

First, the TPO received full Federal accreditation. Previously Washington had scolded the then-MPO for a number of practices that didn't comply with Federal requirements.

Second, there was a Resolution approved endorsing Higher Speed Rail for the region. Virginia's Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) is currently studying three different scenarios for our region. The catch: who gets the lion's share, the Southside or the Peninsula? Norfolk Southern has informally expressed interest in operating passenger rail between Norfolk and Richmond.

Third, preliminary approval was given to a list of projects for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) stimulus funding. Two regional and some local projects were endorsed. The regional road project was the I-564 multimodal connector, while the regional mass transit project was help for Norfolk light rail, with the focus being a multimodal station at Harbor Park. Suffolk tried to get a project upgraded from local to regional, but was voted down.

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