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 Huntingdon County Municipalities, 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 Active Transportation Committee is 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.
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. Planning Director, Mark Colussy, and Sunday Riders Sunday Strollers representative, Valerie Burnett, 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.
Now that the Plan has been adopted, planning is moving into the implementation stage. Formation of an Active Transportation Committee is anticipated in 2017 to fit the regional goals into the local context.
2017-2020 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, Mark Colussy to the SAP&DC Rural Transportation Technical Committee (RTTC) meetings to make recommendations to the Coordinating Committee on the TIP. SAP&DC relies on the County to solicit for Transportation Projects, which 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. A Public Outreach meeting was held on June 16, 2016. Once the RPO formally approves the TIP, the TIP then gets incorporated into the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). The current FY 2017-2020 TIP went into effect on October 1, 2016. It is critical that transportation needs be continually analyzed for future consideration. The TIP is reviewed every two years, making 2017 the next review period.