North Carolina Department of Transportation is conducting a public survey focusing on people's transportation priorities in preparation for its two-year update on the statewide infrastructure plan.
(TNS) — How will you (or your children or grandchildren) get to work, run errands or visit friends over the next 30 years? Will you still be driving your own car or truck, or will you switch to buses, trains, bicycles, scooters or some new form of transportation not yet invented?
The North Carolina Department of Transportation is asking questions like these in a public survey as part of a two-year update of the long-range plan that guides how the state spends money on transportation. NC Moves 2050, as the effort is called, will look at the big picture of how people live and get around and how that might change in the future, said Kerry Morrow, the NCDOT engineer in charge of the statewide plan.
“What are people’s priorities — how do people envision that they’re going to move from point A to point B in the future?” Morrow said in an interview. “What we are really doing is trying to assess, in the year 2050, what our transportation system is going to need to look like to address our population and different parts of the economy to make sure we’re a competitive state.”
The survey, which can be found at publicinput.com/ncmoves, is the first of several opportunities the public will have to weigh in on the plan. At the NC Moves 2050 website, there’s also an interactive map where people can leave suggestions and see what others have to say.
There will be another public survey next spring, as well as a series of “civic dinners” to bring together groups of people for deeper conversations. Borrowing an idea used in other states, the dinners will help NCDOT hear from harder-to-reach populations, such as millennials and Spanish speakers, Morrow said.
NCDOT planners are particularly interested in people’s feelings about mass transit, ridesharing or other ways of getting around that don’t involve driving alone, Morrow said.
“We want to know how much people think about alternative ways to get places that are not necessary commonplace today,” she said.
The plan also will draw on economic and demographic data and trends as well as research by experts on various forms of transportation. NCDOT will use it all to create different scenarios for what transportation in North Carolina might look like in the future. The final blueprint will not only guide state policy but also become a reference for airports, railroads, businesses, economic developers, local governments and federal agencies.
So far, some people are using the interactive map to share big ideas, such as building another bridge over the Cape Fear River downstream of Wilmington or elevating Interstate 40 so it doesn’t get flooded after hurricanes. Others are pointing out problems in their neighborhoods.
Here’s some of what some people in the Triangle have written (all the comments are anonymous):
For more information about NC Moves 2050, go to www.ncdot.gov/initiatives-policies/Transportation/nc-2050-plan/.
©2018 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.