Comment period for expanding the region's trail system
Expanding the region’s trail system is a high priority for the Ozarks Transportation Organization. “Our Board of Directors recognize the value, both economic and health related, that trails bring to our member jurisdictions,” says Senior Planner Andy Thomason. To further define its commitment, the OTO Board will consider adopting a new regional trail plan, Towards a Regional Trail System, and setting a goal to fund 45 miles of new trails by 2045 at its May 20, 2021 meeting.
The OTO’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) has spent the last year thinking about the future and setting their expectations for what the region’s trail system will look like in 2045. Ultimately, the OTO wants to support the development of a trail system that connects communities with continuous linked trails. After reviewing different future scenarios, the BPAC believe the addition of 45 miles of new trail would result in these continuous connections.
“Emphasis within the plan is placed on overall investment levels rather than identifying specific priority trails,” said Mr. Thomason. The plan describes challenges that might impact the region’s ability to build 45 miles of new trail by 2045, but its authors suggest the ambitious goal is achievable.
If the plan is adopted, the ‘45 by 45’ goal will be included in Destination 2045, the OTO’s next long range transportation plan.
The OTO’s Board of Directors would like to hear from members of the public before they consider adoption. A public comment period is open through 5 p.m. on May 19, 2021. The plan is available for review at GiveUsYourInput.org or by appointment at the OTO’s offices at 2208 W Chesterfield Blvd, Suite 101.
How to comment:
In writing: OTO, 2208 W. Chesterfield Blvd., Suite 101, Springfield, MO 65807
The public comment period will end on May 19, 2021 at 5 p.m. The OTO Board of Directors will review and consider adopting Towards a Regional Trail System at their May 20, 2021 Board Meeting, held at 12:00 noon via electronic means. After reviewing recommendations and entertaining public comment, the OTO Board of Directors will decide whether to formally adopt the plan.
For more information, contact: Andy Thomason, Senior Planner, Ozarks Transportation Organization, 2208 W. Chesterfield Boulevard, Suite 101, Springfield, Missouri 65807, 417-865-3042.
Ozarks Transportation Organization is your Springfield-regional Metropolitan Planning Organization, or MPO. The MPO is a body of elected and appointed members who work together with local, state and federal elected officials and policy-makers, serving to make funding and planning decisions for transportation within the Springfield, MO region.
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