COPPERAS COVE — Ten to 15 residents attended the first of five Killeen Temple Metropolitan Planning Organization public workshops that will help create the area’s future transportation needs.
While KTMPO wanted a larger audience, those who did attend were informed and concerned about the greater Killeen-Fort Hood area’s transportation needs, said KTMPO Director Annette Shepherd.
“People actually came in and didn’t just take our survey,” she said. “Everyone came and walked through every station.”
The planning organization, which is a transportation management area, is responsible for creating and prioritizing the transportation projects on a metropolitan scale. Its coverage stretches across Bell County, the southern portion of Coryell County and the eastern portion of Lampasas County, including Copperas Cove and Kempner.
KTMPO is conducting public workshops to garner opinions about traffic congestion, air quality control, public transit, hike-and-bike trail systems and aviation. The input will help draft a four-year plan required by the federal government.
Copperas Cove resident and Fort Hood soldier Sgt. 1st Class Mike Sherman was glad to share his concerns, he said.
“Me being able to contribute is a lot better than them just sending a team out to decide, because we know the area a little bit more intimately,” Sherman said.
Traffic congestion was one of his concerns as he sits on U.S. Highway 190 during Fort Hood rush hours.
“I complain about the traffic and the congestion, because I hit it all the time,” he said.
KTMPO wants to hear from people like Sherman, said Jason Deckman, who is a geographic information systems analyst for the organization.
Deckman ran a booth that encouraged people to put stickers on maps to mark congested and unsafe areas they travel.
Most of the Copperas Cove residents included Fort Hood’s main gate and where U.S. 190 meets the construction for the south bypass and State Highway 9, he said. Those locations will probably change as the organization conducts workshops in Temple, Belton, Killeen and Harker Heights later this month.
Shepherd hopes more people turn out for those meetings.
“We need to keep defining what transportation should look like and redefine it that in our four-year plans.”