This morning the Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) met at the Regional Building in Chesapeake.
There were five speakers for the public comment period: two on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT), two on the Transit Vision Plan (including myself), and one opponent of tolls.
The big issue was the unveiling of transportation projects prioritization. From it:
1. While HRBT expansion outscored The Third Crossing, it only did so because of the recent PPTA offer, which boosted the project's viability score. Were there a PPTA offer on The Third Crossing tomorrow, it would leapfrog the HRBT.
Given that The Third Crossing can be built in phases, the project is more attractive given the limited amount of money to work with.
2. The top rated fixed guideway project was (smile, everyone!) the Virginia Beach Fixed Guideway Transit Project. It scored 205 (87 for Project Utility, 94 for Economic Vitality, and 23 for Project Viability) compared to 187 for Norfolk's extension to the Navy base (89, 88, 10).
3. The Southeastern Parkway did well, but earlier in the day the TPO received notice that the Federal government has halted all environmental work on the proposal. (Stick a fork in it.)
The TPO will give final approval at it's December meeting.
Amy Inman of DRPT gave the first public presentation on the Transit Vision Plan. (Yes, Amy, this blog may make you a celebrity yet.)
The TPO agreed to move it's meetings to the third Thursday of the month. The holdup is that, under it's By-Laws, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) can't ratify a change of it's own until April, 2011.
Finally, the TPO agreed to join the newly-formed Virginia Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations.