Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 22, 2013

State wants public input on transportation

Cabinet developing long-term plan based on survey results

Mike James
The Independent

FLEMINGSBURG — Opinions — everybody has them.

We sometimes wonder whether anyone is listening.

Well, when it comes to Kentucky’s roadways, the state Transportation Cabinet is all ears.

The Cabinet is in the midst of developing a long-range transportation plan and wants to know what Kentuckians think are the state’s transportation needs for the next two decades.

So it developed a survey to gauge public opinions on transportation issues, and will take those opinions into account when making decisions on building and maintaining Kentucky highways.

The Cabinet has its own staff of planners and works closely with area development districts, but wants to include those whose everyday use of state roadways makes them experts.

“The real people we need to talk to are the motorists and the residents, people who are out there on the roads,” spokesman Allen Blair said.

The survey, which is available online or on paper, consists of 19 questions. Respondents may weigh in on the need for, among other things, new routes, wider roads, better sidewalks and other forms of transit.

Planners need to consider changes in communities, freight movement, financial resources, economic development, rural and urban transportation and the environment in determining transportation needs, Blair said.

“It takes a lot of time to build a road. From the beginning to final construction it can take more than 10 years. So we need to plan ahead,” Blair said.

The plan and the survey also take economic development and freight needs into account.

“A strong transportation system is vital to a strong economy and key to maintaining a high quality of life for Kentucky residents and those who travel through the state,” according to Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock.

The survey, available in English or Spanish, takes about 10 minutes to complete.

It can be found at transportation.ky.gov. Click the “Your Turn” link, or go directly to yourturn.transportation.ky.gov.

Those without Internet access may get paper copies at Cabinet district offices, area development district offices, metropolitan planning organization offices or the Cabinet’s state offices at 200 Mero St. in Frankfort.

The survey also is available by mail; call (502) 564-3419 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays to request one.

The survey continues until Feb. 25.

MIKEā€ˆJAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.