The San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will be holding three public meetings on its 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Essentially, this is the revolving list of local transportation projects that are proposed to be funded* over the next three four years (yes, I can count <g>). The projects selected are typically a subset of those in the current long-range plan. Obviously, what eventually does get funded depends heavily on what money eventually comes to this area, but this plan identifies the projects that are first in line to get whatever funding becomes available. The plan includes allocations for all forms of transportation including highways, streets, transit, and bike and pedestrian amenities.
The MPO is the agency charged under state and federal law to control the transportation funding purse-strings for the San Antonio urban area, which in this case includes Bexar County and portions of Comal and Guadalupe counties in the Schertz area. The TIP is required under federal regulations as a condition of receiving federal funding. Projects not in the TIP cannot use federal funds, so this is an important process.
There will be three meetings, all with identical content:
- Tuesday, May 4th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Thursday, May 6th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- Saturday, May 8th from 9:00 a.m. to noon
All three will take place at VIA Metro Center on San Pedro just south of SAC. Visitors will also be able to check-out some new interactive systems and discuss the transportation planning process with the folks that make these decisions.
(* As I’ve discussed before vis-a-vis the US 281 project, the term “funded” in transportation parlance means that anticipated revenues during the plan timefame will be able to fund a project. Until those revenues are actually allocated to the MPO, a project does not actually have money available to start work.)
Roads Toll roads: Alamo Regional Mobility Authority public meeting US 281
The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority will be holding the third public meeting on its Environmental Impact Statement for the US 281 North corridor tomorrow evening (Thursday). This meeting will allow ARMA to share the latest status of the study and get input from the public on the remaining proposals. The process has whittled-down the list of options to three viable proposals:
- Overpasses: This would build overpasses on US 281 at major intersections. This proposal provides the least increase in capacity but has the lowest cost. However, as a toll-free option, funding would need to be found. Also, because the overpasses would increase travel speeds, many side streets and driveways would possibly need to be eliminated for safety and operational reasons.
- Expressway: This option would build a conventional expressway with six to eight main lanes and six lanes of frontage roads. The new expressway main lanes could be toll-free, tolled, or managed.
- Elevated expressway: This proposal would leave the existing 281 mostly in place as-is and would build four to six elevated expressway lanes above the existing lanes. South of Stone Oak, the elevated lanes would be on each side of 281, much like the double-decked expressways downtown; north of Stone Oak, the elevated lanes would run along the west side of the existing lanes. Access ramps connecting to the existing 281 would be provided at strategic locations. Just as with the conventional expressway option, the new elevated lanes could be toll-free, tolled, or managed.
In addition, any final proposal will also consider bus and park & ride facilities, pedestrian and bike improvements, growth and demand management, and Intelligent Transportation Systems (e.g. TransGuide). All of the options also consider reserving an envelope for a future high-capacity transit option, such as HOV lanes or light-rail. One option that had been carried forward previously– the overpasses coupled with additional expansions of Blanco and Bulverde Roads– is recommended to be dropped because of a number of factors.
Each of the options to be carried-forward has strengths and weaknesses. The next phase of the study will further analyze each to determine which has the most pros and least cons.
The meeting will begin with an open house from 5:30-7pm, followed by a presentation from 7-7:30 and small breakout group sessions thereafter. It will take place at the Summit Christian Center at 2575 Marshall Road (the same place where the Super Street meeting was held last year.) More information, including advance copies of the presentation and a map of the meeting location, is available here.
Construction and closures Roads: I-10 Prop 12 funds public meeting stimulus funds Texas Department of Transportation widening
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Sorry for the lack of posts lately. With my website update and the holidays and the ensuing aftermath, I’ve been a wee bit busy, not to mention just spending time with my adorable 16-month-old! But I’m ready to dive back in, so here goes…
I just got home from TxDOT’s public hearing on their long-planned improvements to I-10 West. As I mentioned earlier this week, my recollection was that the proposed changes would include adding an extra freeway lane in each direction and removing the existing outbound DeZavala exit. That indeed still forms the core of the improvements package, but there were a few other goodies.
Construction and closures Roads: I-10 Loop 1604 public meeting US 281
Two agencies– TxDOT and ARMA– will be conducting public meetings next week for two separate projects.
First up is ARMA with a public meeting to discuss the US 281/Loop 1604 interchange project, scheduled to break ground later this year. It is being funded primarily by federal stimulus money and will build the first four elevated ramps connecting 281 south of 1604 to both directions on 1604. The meeting is Monday, January 11, at Parkhills Baptist Church, 17747 San Pedro. Doors open at 5:30pm for an open house. The formal presentation begins at 7:00pm with public comments thereafter. I’m going to try and have a web page on the interchange project done this weekend.
Two days later, TxDOT will hold a public hearing on proposed improvements to I-10 West from Ramsgate to Loop 1604. These plans have been on the back burner for serveral years as no funding has been available. The planned improvements include adding an extra mainlane in each direction and major revisions of the ramps in that area. As those of you who pass through there know, the ramp configuration outbound between Huebner and De Zavala is particularly problematic. The last renderings I saw removed the existing ramp for De Zavala and instead re-purposed the Woodstone exit ramp as the De Zavala exit. That one small change alone, assuming it’s still in the works, will be a big improvement. The hearing will take place on January 13th at the Clark High School cafeteria, 5150 De Zavala Rd. The open house begins at 6:30pm with the actual presentation and public hearing starting at 7:00pm.