What is the purpose of this Transportation Plan?
The purpose of this transportation planning effort is to evaluate the community's transportation system, and ascertain what is needed to make the transportation system function adequately over the course of the planning horizon (year 2030). Considerable work has been performed through other projects in the community. However, due to growth pressures and the need to link to the various planning efforts occurring throughout the Hamilton area, it was decided that the entire community needed to be examined as a whole when examining transportation conditions and future needs. The purpose, then, is to develop a Transportation Plan that coordinates with the desires and direction of the community as a whole, while still providing a safe, functioning, and multi-modal transportation system that can accommodate existing and future travel demands. The end product of this important planning effort will be a useable Transportation Plan that can help guide infrastructure improvements in the community.
How are community leaders and agencies involved in the study?
The planning process will be collaborative in nature, involving area elected officials, agency representatives, transportation organizations, user groups and landowners to ensure local perspectives are represented. A Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) will be formed to facilitate ongoing participation and guidance by key stakeholders, agencies, and organizations. The CAC will meet with the project team no more than six (6) times over the calendar year 2009 to provide input, share ideas and review and comment on draft plan recommendations. Additionally, a project Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has been formed to provide technical guidance and review to the consultant as the project develops.
Who is the project management team?
The City of Hamilton, in partnership with the Montana Department of Transportation and Ravalli County, is the contracting authority for this study. The Helena office of Camp Dresser and McKee is assisting the three project partners in completing the planning effort by the end of December, 2009.
How will the results of the study be used?
The results of the study will be used to guide transportation infrastructure needs within the community over the planning horizon. It will also assist in setting the course for improvements related to multi-modal access and community desires for transportation facilities. Study recommendations may be integrated into MDT's and other local affected planning agencies transportation plans and programs based on funding availability. The results of the study will also provide information to support efforts to identify funding for future projects.
CDM and the project partners will collect and consider all public comments received to better understand the public view of potential issues. The team will then determine the next steps that best meets the study purpose and has the support of cooperating organizations, regulatory agencies, stakeholders, and the general public.
How can the public/community contribute to the study?
The general public is invited to participate in the process through public open house events (yet-to-be scheduled but anticipated to begin in early May, 2009 and ongoing project information review and input. This project web site has been developed to provide on-line opportunities to comment on the needs of the region's transportation system and later, on the draft plan recommendations. Dates, times, and locations will be announced prior to the events through the local media and the project mailing list.
Those with a specific interest in the project are encouraged to join the project emailing list. They can do so by submitting their name and contact information to Jeff Key at the address or e-mail shown below, calling the recorded comment line at (800) 714-7296, or completing and returning the project comment sheets that will be distributed at all formal public outreach events at appropriate points during the projects development and also as contained on this website.
To keep the public informed about the study, project information is being published on this web site, in local media venues, and in newsletters. The public may also provide input or questions by contacting:
Jeff Key, P.E., CDM Project Manager
How will Study recommendations be evaluated?
50 West 14th Street, Suite 200
Helena, MT 59601
Dennis Stranger, City of Hamilton Project Manager
Community Development & Public Works Office
202 S. Third Street
Hamilton, Montana 59840
Sheila Ludlow, MDT Project Manager
Montana Department of Transportation
2701 Prospect Ave / P.O. Box 201001
Helena, MT 59620-1001
MDT Recorded Comment Line (Toll Free)
Decision-makers will inherently be faced with tradeoffs during the transportation planning process. The study is designed to determine impacts – potentially both adverse and beneficial – of various transportation issues in the city and the adjacent unincorporated areas. Consideration of planned and on-going land development, the environment, and community values, as well as sound engineering standards, will shape many of the recommendations and study findings. The determination of the various plan recommendations will involve comparing the tradeoffs among the various ideas, as well as a review of the public comments pertaining to the draft plan recommendations. The City of Hamilton, Ravalli County and the MDT will consider these comments and evaluate all relevant information as may be deemed appropriate. Final transportation plan recommendations will reflect the outcome of this process and the identification of truly appropriate courses of action for the community transportation system.