Whether it’s building new roads, extending transit service, encouraging bicycle travel or doing anything else to improve the future of transportation in Douglas and four other nearby counties, people should keep three investment aspects in mind, a new study suggests.
Three investment perspectives — regarding environmental, social and economic costs and benefits — should be considered as part of a “triple bottom line approach” for making decisions that support a sustainable transportation future, according to draft recommendations included in the new 5-County Regional Transportation Plan.
The plan’s recommendations are being revealed this afternoon, as part of a series of online and in-person meetings for the public in the five counties included in the study: Douglas, Johnson, Leavenworth, Wyandotte and Miami.
The recommendations are part of the first phase of the study. The second phase remains on hold, as the Kansas Department of Transportation cited budget cuts in suspending the process.
The next phase, whenever it comes, will be expected to identify projects, procedures and related policies and other matters that could implement the study’s goals.
Among the recommendations in the report thus far would be to make what are described as “sustainable” transportation investments.
“Making sustainable investments means to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” the study says. “The 5-County Region is urban, suburban and rural, which may require a better understanding and consideration of a wider range of factors than those applied statewide and a multidimensional strategy.
“Now, more than ever, long-term stewardship of resources should be the focus.”
Officials will present the recommendations in person from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical Station No. 5, 1911 Stewart Ave.
The study is the work of KDOT, the Mid-America Regional Council, Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization, Kansas Turnpike Authority and involved counties and cities.
For more information, visit www.5countystudy.org.