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Future of transportation to be discussed at meeting

Whether you work in a transportation industry or just travel through the Tri-State, the KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission wants your help.

They are inviting the public to a workshop to share ideas on what the area needs to have done on all types of transportation. Two identical meetings will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce in South Point and from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at the KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission building.

“The format will be pretty much an open house kind of activity, but there will be a presentation where consultants explain the importance of this plan,” said Michele Craig, KYOVA executive director. “All of the projects we define now, we will continue to work toward for the next 30 years.”

Craig said every kind of transportation is included, from highways, marine transportation, air transportation and freight, and even bicycles and walkways. She said input from the community is valuable.

“That means if you’re stuck at a traffic light every morning and traffic builds up and it’s an issue, those are the things that can really improve by people telling us,” Craig said.

“We are seeking peoples’ input. We will show them on maps and talk about issues,” Craig said. “The staff and consultants have been addressing the issues, but now is the most important part — including the public.”

Craig said one person could never properly address all the issues the way people who use these transportation systems regularly can.

She added that, while this will ultimately be a 30-year plan, some of the plans will begin development in a couple of years.

“We will identify all these things, and as we can, do them,” she said. “We will start working on them as quickly as possible. It’s not a study, it’s a plan that will drive transportation construction for the next 30 years and people in the area can really have something to say about it.”

She said if people have something to say about the Chesapeake bypass, or mudslides on Route 7, sharing their information can be helpful to the process.

“If we make those answers to the problems part of the plan, that’s the way we can spend federal money to fix things in the years ahead, but if its not part of the plan, we can‘t spend federal money to fix it,” Craig said.

The meetings are open to anyone and will include an open house formant, where the public can view maps, a presentation about the plan and group sessions with consultants, as well as refreshments.