Kent County residents have been asked to give their input on the Dover/Kent County Metropolitan Planning Organization's updates to its regional transportation plan. Public comment will be taken for a month staring Friday and a public workshop is scheduled for Nov. 14 at the new Dover Public Library.
The Dover/Kent County Metropolitan Planning Organization will launch a 30-day public comment period Friday on the draft of its long-range Metropolitan Transportation Plan that includes construction of the West Dover Connector and improvements to Del. Route 1 south of Dover Air Force Base.
The month-long comment period includes a public workshop Nov. 14 at the Dover Public Library for the MTP, which used to be called the Regional Transportation Plan, Dover/Kent County MPO public liaison Kathleen Layton told Camden Town Council Monday night.
Layton is making the rounds to local municipalities throughout Kent County to invite people to come give any input they might have during the comment period, which runs through Dec. 9.
"A Metropolitan Transportation Plan defines how an area's transportation system will develop over the next 20 years and how transportation projects in central Delaware will be funded," she said. "The U.S. Department of Transportation requires the MPO to update its plan every four years as a prerequisite for federal funding.
"Public input is an important component to finalizing the plan. The MPO is eager to hear what people want or believe the area needs in terms of transportation," Layton added.
IF YOU GO
WHO Dover/Kent County Metropolitan Planning Organization
WHAT Transportation Plan public workshop
WHEN 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14
WHERE Meeting Room B, Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover (next to Dover City Hall).
HOW People can get a closer look at the draft plan, view enlarged maps of proposed projects and provide comments for the record.
INFO Copies of the MTP will be available at the workshop, and will be posted online starting Nov. 9 at www.doverkentmpo.org. Formal comments are welcome via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at (302) 387-6026 or 387-6030, by U.S. mail at P.O. Box 383, Dover, DE 19903 or in person at the MPO office, which is located on the third floor of Camden Town Hall at 1783 Friends Way, Camden.
The Metropolitan Transportation Plan's improvements to Del. Route 1 in the foreseeable future include the construction of overpasses over the north-south highway in Kent County's growth zone, she said. And the West Dover Connector has been in the planning stages for some time now.
Aside from those two projects, there are more moderate to small projects planned, Layton said. The idea is to keep spending at a level pace and give the Delaware Department of Transportation a chance to address its debt.
"This is an update of the plan," she said. "It's not a big overhaul of the plan."
The plan also aims to make central Delaware more innovative at working with its existing infrastructure, Layton said. That includes creating bike lanes and shoulders on back roads and rural roads and sidewalks along existing roads. In short, existing infrastructure could be enhanced instead of building more new roads, she said.
In addition, the MPO document addresses expanding fixed route DART service, and going out to areas that aren't served now, Layton said. For instance, there has been a lot of interest in having a bus go up and down the length of U.S. Route 13.
And rail and freight are perpetual components of this plan, including a mention of the Delmarva Rail Study, Layton said.
The cost of the transportation plan over 25 years has been about $900 million, although many of the projects are "wish list" items that have to compete for funding against other projects, Layton said.
"In other words, some might get built sooner than others if they are deemed more important," she said.
The MTP workshop is being held in conjunction with the Capital City Trail public workshop for the sake of convenience, Layton said. It will be in the meeting room next door at the library.