JAX-STAUG commuter rail proposal Open House


Marci Larson tells Historic City News that with 179 needed transportation projects costing roughly $12 billion and less than $6 billion in projected revenue to pay for them, it’s time to make some difficult decisions.

The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization asks, “How do we balance the needs of four counties in the region and residents’ desires for travel options?”

The TPO wants to hear public comment in order to help them determine what roles job access, economic development, safety and environmental protection should play in setting priorities for the limited funding.

The public is invited to come to an Open House meeting to review and discuss the projects, costs, revenue projections and Proposed Cost Feasible Plan.

These will be the last public meetings for the 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan until the public hearing and adoption scheduled for the North Florida TPO Board Meeting November 12, 2009.

St. Augustine City Commissioner and TPO board member Nancy Sikes-Kline reported to Historic City News that the St. Johns County Open House will be held Wednesday, October 14th at the St. Johns County Commission Chambers located at 500 San Sebastian View.

Sikes-Kline offered some clarification. “The Cost Feasible Plan Open House is important to St. Augustine because it includes a proposed commuter rail system for St. Augustine to Jacksonville.”

“This is different” she said, “from the AMTRAK passenger rail project proposed for ARRA stimulus funds which has selected a station location in St. Augustine.”

The Cost Feasible Plan proposes a commuter rail to serve as a new system between St. Augustine and Jacksonville — among other things. It is possible that the station location for this project would be best suited at the Airport.

According to Sikes-Kline, “It could very well be a case of something for everyone.”

The North Florida TPO is an independent regional agency responsible for transportation planning in Duval County and most of Clay, St. Johns and Nassau Counties. , The TPO Board is composed of elected officials and representatives from local transportation agencies. They meet monthly, providing direction and making the ongoing decisions that implement the big-picture strategy.

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