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Voice transportation concerns at July 14 hearing
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Public hearing
What: Gainesville-Hall County Metropolitan Planning Organization presents public hearing on 2040 transportation plan
When: 5:30 p.m. July 14
Where: Georgia Mountains Center, 301 Main St., Gainesville

It's easy to gripe about roads and traffic while driving.

But here's a chance to voice your thoughts publicly.

The Gainesville-Hall County Metropolitan Planning Organization has scheduled the first of several public hearing as it moves toward completing its 2040 transportation plan by August 2011.

The hearing is set for 5:30 p.m. July 14 at the Georgia Mountains Center in downtown Gainesville.

Area residents can share thoughts and opinions on various road projects, planned or otherwise. They will be able to view maps and other graphics.

A formal presentation on the planning process will take place at 6 p.m.

A few suggested topics at the hearing include:

  • Current transportation needs and concerns in the Gainesville-Hall County area.
  • Prioritizing projects and issues already identified in the current 2030 plan, which can be viewed at www.ghmpo.org.
  • Improving bicycle and pedestrian access.
  • Existing and future public transportation conditions and needs.
  • Major road projects and new corridors.
  • Transportation improvements for freight movement and economic development.

"This is a fresh start looking at new priorities," transportation planning manager Srikanth Yamala has said. "We will share any numbers we are looking at in 2040, (such as with) population."

The group expects to hold one other public hearing later this year and two next year. No dates have been scheduled.
The planning group might have a project list for the 2040 plan by late fall, Yamala has said.

The 2030 Long-Range Transportation Plan was adopted in August 2007.

Federal requirements state that all metropolitan areas with more than 50,000 residents, such as Gainesville-Hall, develop and maintain such a plan.

The plan "addresses the challenges brought on by substantial population, employment and travel growth, as well as air quality concerns," according to the 2030 document.

"The purpose of the plan is to propose a program of projects and strategies that meet the county's transportation needs and provides guidance in making decisions regarding future infrastructure needs and investments."

The document features maps, traffic data and an array of projects and the possible time frames in which they can be completed, along with cost estimates.

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