COPPERAS COVE — The Killeen Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization will conduct five public workshops to gather residents’ input about the region’s future transportation needs.
“Public input is being sought to identify the transportation related needs of the region and include areas of (traffic) congestion, bicycle/pedestrian, aviation, passenger rails, safety transit, air quality, public outreach and regional goals and objectives,” a news release from KTMPO stated.
The planning organization is trying to develop a long-range plan, which it will update every four years as required by the federal government, said Annette Shepherd, KTMPO director.
“With any plans like this, you need it to address public concerns,” Shepherd said. “(The plan) starts and is often defined with what the public sees as an issue.”
The planning organization includes a policy board, made up of local representatives, and a technical committee, consisting of various cities and counties’ employees. It serves as the governing body for the Transportation Management Area, which includes all of Bell County, the southern portion of Coryell County and the eastern portion of Lampasas County.
KTMPO was recently promoted to a transportation management area, because of its population size, which means it is competing for different funding sources and is governed by slightly different regulations, Shepherd said.
Among those changes in regulations is the required four-year planning cycle. The shorter planning cycle is a way of forcing the area to think about its transportation needs, and the staff of KTMPO wants to ensure residents’ needs are addressed in that plan, Shepherd said.
There will be no formal discussions at the workshops, which start this week in Copperas Cove, because KTMPO wants to hear residents’ opinions and concerns on any of the topics, said Cheryl Maxwell, the organization’s senior planner.
“But (we) won’t be a totally blank slate,” Maxwell said.
The region’s current plans, such as the area’s master bike and pedestrian plan, will be available for residents to review, comment on and make suggestions to staff and if policy board members show up perhaps they will talk about some of the previous decisions.
Previous planning led to current projects along Interstate 35, U.S. Highway 190 and Texas Loop 201, Shepherd said. As several of those projects are started and completed, the current long-range plan needs some updating.
The KTMPO staff will present its findings from these meetings to the policy board as it develops the long range plan, Shepherd said.
If you go
What: Killeen Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization public workshops.
When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Police station community room, 302 E. Avenue E.
When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. May 14
Where: Wheatley Alternative School, 515 E. Avenue D.
When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. May 16
Where: Killeen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd.
When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. May 21
Where: Harker Heights Activity Center, 400 Indian Trail.
When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. May 23
Where: CTCOG Building, 2180 N. Main St.