On Wednesday evening there was the first public meeting on the region's 2034 Long Range Plan (LRP) for transportation. The meeting was held at the Regional Building in Chesapeake.
The LRP is a Federally-mandated plan that looks at our region's transportation needs at a 20 year horizon, with the Plan having to be updated every 4 years. Projects must be in the LRP to be eligible for Federal funding.
Things began with an open forum, where citizens could read documents, view charts, and ask questions of staff. (It was the first time I had seen the full list of projects from the prioritization tool.) There then was a Presentation on the LRP. That was followed by a question and answer session. It was a robust portion, with 47 questions asked. (Staff noted all 47 questions.) Finally, things ended with another open forum.
While there was a nice contingent from Light Rail Now, zero members of the extremist Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance showed up. (They either were asleep at the wheel again or don't give a damn about our transportation network. Maybe both.) The heartening thing was the number of citizens who showed up who normally don't attend such meetings. They simply are fed up with our transportation problems not being tackled, and want to get involved.
Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) Executive Director Dwight Farmer stated that the 2034 LRP will be the focal point of the TPO's February 17 Retreat.