Let’s talk about public meetings. MPO staff are public servants. At these meetings, we get to present our work to the people we serve. You, the public, get to comment and critique on the work we’re doing for you. It’s kind of a big deal. Here’s a rundown of the public meetings these past couple of months:
- January 19th, Guntersville: ALDOT presented their beginning work on their new Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. MPO staffer James Moore attended this meeting and discussed how very different the atmosphere was from the last time he attended an ALDOT statewide bike/ped plan meeting. He said he didn’t remember the state going around from region to region to present the plan or ask for comments last time. The public has already been surveyed once, last Fall, in relationship to this plan. Now another public survey is available in response to this workshop. So, if you didn’t get to attend, make your voice heard here: Bike Ped Plan Survey
- January 25th, Huntsville: Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC): Prior to any MPO meeting, there are two opportunities for the public to discuss transportation projects on the MPO agenda. These opportunities are the CAC and the Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) public meetings. These two committees are comprised of public volunteers, not city planners or elected officials. They are the public’s voice to the MPO. You can come speak to your peers about the MPO agenda. The CAC advises the MPO on resolutions to be voted on. At the meeting on January 25th, several members of the public asked questions and expressed opinions about the Slaughter Road project on the MPO agenda as well as the TIGER grant project on the MPO agenda. There was a good deal of discussion, as well, about HWY 72, a project the public was interested in, though it was not on the MPO agenda. When the next CAC meeting is held, probably in May or June, we hope to see you there! See meeting minutes for prior CAC and TCC meetings here: Meeting Minutes
- January 26th, Madison: ALDOT Public meeting for Town Madison projects: This event was very well attended by the public. When the doors opened, lines to sign in went out the doors of Madison City Hall, almost to the sidewalk. Three transportation projects were discussed in relationship to the Town Madison shopping development south of I-565. These projects will have enormous impacts on City of Madison residents, as well as City of Huntsville residents who live along Zierdt Road. If you missed the meeting, here is an overview via local media: Town Madison Public Meeting
- February 1st, Calhoun Community College : Alabama Legislative Joint Transportation Committee meeting on increasing the gas tax – Another packed house for this public meeting. Dozens of speakers discussed the importance of updating roads throughout the North Alabama region. The focus was primarily on safety and saving lives of motorists. Freight representatives supported the gas tax increase. Gas station owners requested consideration for gas stations close to state borders. A cyber security company expressed concern at “the lack of alternatives to a gas tax being presented,” because “gas taxes will be obsolete in 25 years.” To comment on this discussion, if you missed the meeting, email : email@example.com and your legislators in Montgomery will hear you. The email address was repeated often during the meeting as their primary source of public comment. Also see this website, for constitutional amendments regarding the committee and listing its membership: Joint Transportation Committee
- February 3rd: Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) and Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting: The TCC is a bit different from the CAC in that the volunteers are transportation engineers and other members of the technical community with some expertise to share in transportation planning. These volunteer members of the public serve on the committee to discuss the feasibility of transportation projects on the MPO agenda. It’s another opportunity for the public to discuss the MPO agenda before the MPO meeting. Minutes of these meetings are also available at the CAC meeting link above.
Public meetings are for you, the public. We hope to see you at future public meetings this year! Our www.huntsvillempo.org home page lists the upcoming public meetings. While there aren’t any more in February or March, stay tuned to our home page and attend when you can!