Monday, June 14, 2010

Editorial Says There is Too Little Communication on Vital Transportation Plan

Here's an editorial from last week's Loudoun Times about the Countywide Transportation Plan (CTP). According to the paper, tomorrow, June 15, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will take a pit stop to hear a transportation consultant hired by a citizen’s group opposed to a majority of the Countywide Transportation Plan.Let us know your thoughts on the editorial, and the CTP.
"We applaud county leaders for listening to all sides, although in this case we question the price tag of up to $3,000.

"But most of all, we wonder why supervisors’ quest to obtain other sources of information before voting to shape this plan – our blueprint for the next 20 years – has been stuck in traffic this long?

"The consultant, Lucinda Gibson of Smart Mobility Inc., in her June 15 presentation will likely make the same points many citizens have argued for the last year.

"Wouldn’t it have been easier on our county leaders – and taxpayers’ wallets – to simply have listened to those citizens’ complaints from the get-go?

"According to Steve Hines, president of Citizens for a Countywide Transportation Plan – the group that hired transportation consulting firm Smart Mobility Inc. to analyze the county’s plan – residents have been honking their horns at county leaders for years.

"The group formed in March, but the members as individuals had participated in public hearings and input sessions for more than a year as the plan inched its way through the county’s subcommittees and Planning Commission.

"Their input, according to Hines, mostly fell on deaf ears until the group organized, slapped a label on itself, and members pumped out their own money to hire Smart Mobility.

"Why should residents have to go that far to get the attention of their elected officials?

"We’ll get to our position on the plan itself in coming weeks, but for now we wonder how much weight one individual citizen’s voice actually carries on the dais.

"If supervisors had been listening earlier – regardless of the plan’s details – maybe it would have at least been based on more current studies. County leaders, until recently, based their discussions on the Countywide Transportation Plan on a 2006 study.

"But with supervisors now speeding toward a July 6 vote to adopt the plan, it may be too late to consider making any significant changes to the document. After all, it took four years to get this far."

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