By law, RATS is required to solicit public comments about the plan.
On Wednesday an informational open house was held to discuss transportation issues over the next 30 years. With all the evidence of explosive economic growth heading to our region, a safe and efficient transportation system becomes a paramount issue.
"With the global inter-modal hub in Rochelle, we're seeing big time trucking activity. If we don't have a system that can accommodate it, we'll end up with good economic development, but congestion that goes along with it," says MPO Study Director Steve Ernst.
Ernst says the number one transportation priority in Rockford at this time is commuter rail. "Access to jobs and shopping in Chicago marketplace," says Ernst.
As the Greater Rockford Airport develops into a vital economic engine, and warehouse distribution centers look to set-up shop in the Stateline, a transportation system has to “React to that change, need to be able to move people and goods," says Ernst.
The open houses, hosted by RATS, allows residents to see the projected changes but most importantly, it allows people to express their thoughts and concerns. "We've been hearing from the community, ‘boy, we'd like to have bike racks on the buses. That way we could combine biking and mass transit.’ And we think this fits well with the Mayor's Riverwalk Model," says Ernst.
No doubt our transportation system will evolve with growth and the public has the opportunity to share it's visions for the future. The study is scheduled to be adopted on July 28.
INFORMATIONAL OPEN HOUSES:
Thursday July 7
11 am – 2 pm
Loves Park City Hall
100 Heart Blvd. Loves Park
3:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Belvidere Community Building-Banquet Room
111 West 1st Street, Belvidere