06/03/09 — City officials want to hear comments at transportation forum

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City officials want to hear comments at transportation forum

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on June 3, 2009 1:46 PM

Having a problem with transportation in Goldsboro?

Kimley-Horn and Associates wants to hear about it.

The consultant firm, working with the Goldsboro Metropolitan Planning Organization to update the city's long-range transportation plan, will hold a public workshop Thursday evening at the Wayne County Public Library on Ash Street.

"We want as many people as we possibly can get there," said Kimley-Horn representative Mike Rutkowski. "We're not going to sit up there and preach to them about transportation, we're here to listen."

The first transportation forum, held more than a month ago, was not widely attended, but officials hope that changing the time and location could draw more of a crowd.

"We wanted to host another one. We didn't have a whole lot of public participation," Rutkowski said. "What we want to do is open it up and tell a little bit about what the plan is."

Any citizens with concerns about transportation issues in the city -- pedestrian, bicycle, car, train or bus -- are welcome to come and speak with Kimley-Horn representatives and city officials.

"Anything (is) on the table in terms of discussion," he said. "What we really want to drill down to is what do we need to focus our attention on in the next couple months."

Problem areas, bad intersections or interchanges, difficulties with morning or afternoon commutes and any other issues with transportation are possible topics for discussion.

The group also hopes to give an update on the process of working with the long-range transportation plan, and discuss which programs have been funded and which have not.

Developers planning to build in Goldsboro also are welcome to attend.

"We're reaching out a lot through stakeholders to try to connect with the development community," Rutkowski said. "If they have their plans or some ideas of development or expansion project they're working on, we'd like to be aware of it."

But most of all, they want to know what the people of Goldsboro think should be done to manage the transportation plan.

"Bottom line is ultimately we want the public to help prioritize," Rutkowski said. "We're on a very short time frame."

The firm will likely return to Goldsboro within a few weeks of the meeting to "ground troop" some of the ideas and concerns voiced during the workshop. They plan to look at accident reports, traffic counts and examine other transportation-related data, then update the travel demand model, he said.

While the future of key traffic corridors like 581, U.S. Highway 70 and others are also a concern, "right now, we're just trying to deal with the existing problems," Rutkowski said.

The workshop will be from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 4 in the Gertrude Weil Auditorium in the Wayne County Public Library, located at 1001 Ash Street in Goldsboro. Kimley-Horn will display maps and other materials, share information about the long-range transportation plan and hold small group sessions to collect feedback.

For more information, contact Guthrie at 580-4333 or Allison Fluitt with Kimley-Horn and Associates at 653-2947.