There are a variety of components that make up a community.
They include quality of life, business, city services and transportation. Cities plan in all four of these areas on an ongoing basis. While all are equally important, transportation has an entire plan devoted to it and St. Joseph’s was recently updated. An open house was held this month for the public to learn more about the revisions.
Many of the changes included updates in future project costs, the redefining of roadways and traffic projections for the year 2035. Even though the year 2035 seems a long way off, it was an interesting piece of the plan in terms of the anticipated growth it reflects.
For example, in 2009, an average of 10,000 cars traveled Minnesota Street, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Officials anticipate for many roadways in St. Joseph, traffic is expected to double by the year 2035.
The city’s transportation plan has not been revised since 2007. Though it may seem redundant to revisit a plan that helps guide traffic and development needs for a city, every four to five years is about the right time frame for a tune-up most city and engineer officials agree.
There is no doubt transportation within a city is of utmost importance not only to the city’s residents but to those who might be thinking of visiting or even just passing through. The city has accepted the plan, but it has yet to be formally adopted.
Transportation planning is not as simple as a meeting here or there. According to the US. Department of Transportation, it includes a number of steps including the following:
• Monitoring existing conditions;
• Forecasting future population and employment growth, including assessing projected land uses in the region and identifying major growth corridors;
• Identifying current and projected future transportation problems and needs and analyzing, through detailed planning studies, various transportation improvement strategies to address those needs;
• Estimating the impact of recommended future improvements to the transportation system on environmental features, including air quality; and
• Developing a financial plan for securing sufficient revenues to cover the costs of implementing strategies.
St. Joseph’s transportation plan is something both the city council and the St. Joseph Planning Commission work together to implement. The 32-page document is available on the city’s website at www.cityofstjoseph.com. Take a look.