SEDA-COG seeks projects for Pa.'s Long-Range Transportation Plan

July 27, 2010

SEDA-COG is looking for projects for Central Pennsylvania's Long Range Transportation Plan.  The plan is being developed with a 45-member steering committee and will identify major transportation projects, programs, and policies over the next 25 years in the Rural Planning Organization (RPO), which includes Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, and Union counties.   

“We want to know what transportation issues are most important to the eight counties,” said Jim Saylor, Director of the SEDA-COG's transportation planning program, “Public input will help identify trends, set goals, determine projected transportation revenue, and prioritize transportation proposals for the region’s preferred future.”   

Projects are being sought from municipalities and related organizations, transportation providers, private business, chambers of commerce, and the general public.  A project solicitation abstract form must be completed for each proposal.  While copies of the form are available through SEDA-COG, it can be accessed online at www.seda-cog.org under Regional Spotlight.  After completion of the electronic form, it should be e-mailed to transprojects@seda-cog.org. 

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria, which are listed in order of most to least important:

• Economic benefit
• Community benefit
• Consistency with county of municipal comprehensive plans
• Cost benefit ratio
• Intermodal connection
• Inter-municipal cooperation
• Environmental impact

Further information will be made available at a series of presentations to officials in each of the eight counties.  All of the presentations are open to the public at each county's Commissioners' or County Planning meeting: 

--Clifton County: August 2
--Columbia County: August 5
--Juniata County: August 17
--Mifflin County: August 26
--Montour County: July 27
--Northumberland County: August 24
--Snyder County: August 16
--Union County: August 3

The deadline for project submission is September 30, 2010.  Proposals will be reviewed by SEDA-COG transportation staff and a sub-committee of the Long Range Transportation Plan steering committee.  The full committee includes County Commissioners; individuals from county planning commissions, municipalities, and private business; and representatives from several state offices including PennDOT, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Department of Community and Economic Development, and Governor’s Action Team.   

Work on the Long Range Plan began in 2008 with an inventory of existing conditions and formation of a steering committee.  Since then needs have been identified, goals and ranking criteria have been established, and mapping has been completed.   

Ultimately the plan will include roadways; facilities for freight, rail, aviation, and public transportation, plus bike paths and pedestrian trails.  Saylor said, “The plan is intended to promote greater mobility, improve safety, and revitalize communities.  The planning process itself is an opportunity for our region to invest in its identity and future.”