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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Public comments wanted on transportation plan

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The time to voice ideas on how to improve transportation in Clay County is now.

On Thursday, West Central Indiana Economic Development District (WCIEDD) Transportation Planner Jackie Mitchell presented a draft of the Clay County Thoroughfare Plan for the Year 2030 to county officials.

"This marks the beginning to the public comment period, which lasts until June 29," Mitchell said. "If there are no significant or adverse changes suggested to be made, we will present the final draft at the July 6 Clay County Commissioners meeting."

The plan, which was created by the WCIEDD Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), includes traffic counts and peak hours of traffic for 100 different road sections within Clay County the Federal Highway Administration designates with a functional classification of a type of collector or arterial.

"On each section, we conducted a 48-hour traffic study and divided the total by two to determine an approximate average of daily traffic flow," Mitchell said. "Also as part of the study, we designated the Level of Service for each section."

Mitchell explained the Level of Service is graded from A-F based on multiple factors including the level of traffic flow and congestion in a particular area. She added traffic volume and the number of traffic control devices -- stop signs and traffic lights -- play more a role in determining the Level of Service than factors like the condition of the road.

"It is more about the mobility of vehicles to go down a road because this is more of a general plan," she said. "In Clay County, none of the roads are below a 'C', which is very good."

According to the draft of the plan, only eight of the areas studied were given a grade of C, which indicates a steady traffic flow, but where there is enough congestion the option to pass or change lanes is not always assured. The sections receiving this grade were along Murphy Avenue, Depot, Hendrix and Pinckley streets in Brazil.

The draft includes a list of seven goals for maximizing safety, increasing traffic mobility and forecasting the future needs of the transportation network in Clay County.

"We would also like to receive feedback from the community with concerns or suggestions of things to add to the plan," Mitchell said.

Clay County Commissioner Paul Sinders added this plan could help the county determine ideas for future development of the county as well.

"I appreciate the opportunity WCIEDD has provided us with this plan, which can help enhance the county's ability to create future economic development," Sinders said. "I encourage citizens to view this plan and make comments and provide suggestions."

Mitchell said the plan may be viewed online starting Friday (today) by visiting www.westcentralin.com, and clicking on the "Transportation Planning" header.

Residents wanting to submit comments or suggestions may do so by e-mailing Mitchell at jmitchell@westcentralin.com or by calling 812-238-1561, by no later than 4 p.m., Monday June 29.

"After the plan is finalized, the next step is to prioritize which projects need to completed first," Mitchell said.

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