Transportation Planning facilitates technical information, effective transportation, and efficient movement of people and goods. Transportation Planning shapes urban form, affects economic vitality and impacts quality of life. The Planning & Development Department strives to create better communication among all 48 Huntingdon County Municipalities, the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC)’s Rural Planning Organization (RPO), and with other professional groups. We assess and make recommendations on policies and programs so as to derive the full public benefits of comprehensive and community-based planning that promote personal mobility and travel choices.
ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
The initial Active Transportation Committee was formed in 2017 and was composed of fifteen (15) citizens appointed by the Huntingdon County Commissioners. The Committee is responsible for raising awareness of bicycle and pedestrian planning concerns. Responsibilities include initiatives ranging from evaluating existing conditions and maintenance needs, gap analysis, and local advocacy.
After a two-year hiatus, the Committee was re-formed in February 2022 and is now composed of 10 individuals and three ex-officio, non-voting members appointed by the Huntingdon County Commissioners.
The Committee is currently soliciting for a consultant to prepare a Huntingdon County Active Transportation Plan, funded by a PA WalkWorks grant.
BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN PLAN
The Southern Alleghenies Rural Planning Organization (RPO) is responsible for developing and maintaining the Region’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. The Plan is consistent with the goals set forth in the Southern Alleghenies Long Range Transportation Plan as well as federal and state guidance regarding bicycle and pedestrian modes of transportation. For the 2016 Plan, the County Planning Director and a representative of the Sunday Riders Sunday Strollers organization represented Huntingdon County on the Steering Committee. The 2016 Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan was adopted by the RPO at the July 20, 2016 Rural Transportation Coordinating Committee Meeting. The Plan includes five major goals:
- Bolster the Region’s bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure so that it is safe to use and enjoy.
- Ensure our Region’s bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is well maintained.
- Continue planning for bicycle and pedestrian initiatives.
- Educate our Region’s stakeholders, elected officials, and public at-large of key regional initiatives involving bicycle and pedestrian transportation.
- Maximize the benefits of transportation investments in the Region.
The Plan specifically highlighted the following potential projects in Huntingdon County: Lower Trail extension to Huntingdon Borough; Walk Huntingdon; connections from Juniata College to downtown; 9/11 Memorial Trail extension; proposed trail linking Mapleton to Mount Union; and improved connections between Huntingdon Borough and Lake Raystown. Huntingdon County's formation of an Active Transportation Committee fit the regional goals into the local context.
Southern Alleghenies adopted an updated Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan on December 16, 2021. This Plan contains the same five goals as the 2016 Plan (see bullet points above); and it also summarizes these goals, objectives and strategies and identifies related performance measures to track the region's performance over time.
TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PLAN (TIP)
Every four years, Huntingdon County participates in the update to the region’s TIP. The TIP is developed in cooperation with the four rural counties of Bedford, Fulton, Huntingdon, and Somerset, PennDOT District 9-0, PennDOT Central Office, and SAP&DC. The Southern Alleghenies RPO prioritizes, reviews, and approves the final TIP. The TIP is the first four years of the Twelve Year Plan (TYP) and Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), which is 20 years into the future. The TIP contains project-specific information and is fiscally constrained (i.e. cannot include projects which cost more than available funding identified by the Department of Transportation.) The TIP projects expected funding sources to fund the regions transportation projects, which include safety improvements, traditional roadway resurfacing and reconstruction projects, major construction projects of new facilities, and the bridge network.
The County appoints the Planning Director to the SAP&DC Rural Transportation Technical Committee (RTTC) meetings to make recommendations to the Coordinating Committee on the TIP. In 2022, SAP&DC created an online system to solicit for transportation projects. These projects are reviewed bi-annually by the County Planning Commission. The Planning Commission votes on recommendations to the Commissioners regarding a list of prioritized projects to be forwarded to PennDOT for consideration and addition to the TIP. Once the RPO formally approves the TIP, the TIP then gets incorporated into the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). The FY 2019-2022 TIP went into effect on October 1, 2018. The FY 2021-2024 TIP will be adopted on July 22, 2020 and will go into effect on October 1, 2020. The Draft FY 2023-2026 TIP was made available for a 30-day public review and comment period beginning on May 2, 2022 and ending on May 31, 2022. Adoption of this TIP is pending.