Public input sought for transportation plan update

Federal rules mandate that municipalities update transportation plans every four years.

The last major update was completed in 2014 and the Great Falls Metropolitan Planning Organization is currently working on a minor update to the Great Falls Area Long Range Transportation Plan.

The group is hosting the first public open house for the project 4-8 p.m. Feb. 7 in the Gibson Room at the Civic Center, 2 Park Dr. S. Members of the public are welcome at any point during the event to talk with the project team, share comments or concerns and ask questions about the plan.

[Learn more about the 2014 plan and 2018 update]

Much of the information in the 2014 plan still holds true today, but the transportation system is ever-changing, according to the planners.

This 2018 update will include a thorough review and analysis of the previous plan and will update information where needed. The plan will be used to help guide development of, and investment in, the community’s transportation system, according to the GFMPO.

Andrew Finch, the city’s transportation planner, said transportation projects take considerable time from planning, getting funding approved, design, utility easements, actual construction and more.

The plan includes motorized and non-motorized modes, such as bicycle and pedestrian transportation. It also includes the Great Falls Transit buses though they aren’t an independent agency that doesn’t fall under city or county control.

Planners will also reaffirm their traffic projection during the update.

“We are growing where we though were going to grow,” Finch told the Council of Councils on Jan. 31. “We are growing where we thought we would grow so we’re confident in our models.”