Members of Jonesboro Area Transportation Study Need Your Help - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Kathy Morris Reports

Members of Jonesboro Area Transportation Study Need Your Help

August 26, 2004 -- Posted at: 11:00pm CDT

JONESBORO, AR - After the 2000 census, the federal government made it mandatory that cities with more than 50,000 residents have a metropolitan planning organization which focuses on regional transportation. Their job is to have 20-year plan in place for the area.

Improving a community's transportation problems is a long, costly process. Members of the Jonesboro Area Transportation Study Metropolitan Planning Organization want to make sure they get things right the first time, but in order to do that they need residents' help.

Amin Ulkarim, Jonesboro Area Transportation Study Director, and his staff have to predict the future transportation needs of Jonesboro, Bay, Bono and Brookland, and decide how those demands will be met.

"Our intention is to involve the citizens as much as we can," said Ulkarim.

They will soon be asking for your help through letters, faxes and e-mails, and by visiting different organizations.

"I'd like to see a lot more of the gravel roads in the rural areas, like Bono and so forth, paved," said Ken Mathews, an area resident.

"Getting down Caraway, Stadium and Highland during the busy times of the day is almost impossible, but I don't know what the answer to that is," added Rex Haney, another local driver.

Another unknown Jonesboro resident commented, "I wish that they would complete, when they've started construction in one area, they would complete it before they start another one, and I wish they'd dig up these bricks in this street (Main Street in downtown Jonesboro). I think this is terrible."

Brynn Scarborough, an ASU commented on the double train tracks south of campus, "The main thing that I would like to see improved is on the train tracks.. putting in an overpass or an underpass, so we can get around when trains are coming in."

Federal funds will pay for 80% of the study and the construction of projects, and the remaining 20% will be matched locally. The plan is reviewed every 5 years, and each year projects are chosen to complete.

Ulkarim added, "We don't know what they want. They should tell us."

Suggestions will be collected from September through January. A rough draft should be completed by June of 2005, and then a public review session will be held. Work on the projects should begin by the end of the summer.

e-mail: mpo@jonesboro.org

Call (870) 933-4623

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