Jonesboro Area MPO Draft 2035 Metropolitan Transportation Plan
These three pages of quotes came from eleven pages of a 124-page draft
Chapter 9: Bikeways and Walkways (Quotes)
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 outlines the policy of Congress regarding the use of Complete Streets design techniques….State and local governments should consider policies designed to accommodate all users; including motorists, pedestrian, cyclists, transit riders…A Complete Street is a safe, comfortable and convenient street for travel via automobile, foot, bicycle, and transit.
The MPO has a vision of creating a continuous, safety-oriented network of sidewalks, walkways, trails, and bikeways in and around the MPO area.
Under Goals and Objectives:
1. Adopt and maintain policies, codes, and land-use patterns that promote walking.
4. Promote and facilitate the effective use of non-motorized transportation
7. Develop a regional pedestrian and bicycle transportation plan for a safe and connective non-motorized transportation system.
9. Develop partnerships with transit providers to implement projects providing neighborhood-to-transit links that improve pedestrian and bicycle access to transit services and facilities.
Policy 1 – Consider pedestrians and bicyclists as users in the planning, design, construction and maintenance of all roadway projects. (Another policy applies this policy to reconstruction as well)
Policy 3: Establish a coordinated and connected system of open space and greenways throughout the MPO area that provide multiple benefits including preserving natural systems, protecting wildlife habitat and corridors, and providing land for recreation.
Policy 4: Secure public, non-motorized easements…As with motorized facilities, a significant portion of the costs associated with developing non motorized facilities result from land acquisition.
Policy 5 – Develop pedestrian and bicycle linkages between neighborhoods and major natural areas, recreation facilities, and education centers.
Policy 6 – [C]ontinue developing and implementing walking and bicycle routes that provide access to schools….Seek grant funding under the Safe Routes to School Program and others to finance such improvements.
Policy 7 – Work towards specific short and mid-term implementation objectives….and increasing trips by bicycle and foot by a certain percentage over 2010 levels.
Policy 9 – Coordinate a comprehensive bicycle safety program between cities, counties and state….Explain the need for additional facilities by reference to demographic characteristics such as the number of individuals in the region who are elderly, under the age of 16, or potentially cannot afford a personal automobile; and describe how changes in the availability of such facilities would affect transportation cost in the MPO area. [This one is hard to understand. What do they mean by facilities and how could bicycle program help the elderly]
Remember that people on welfare often get $36,000 to $40,000 a year when you add together their welfare, housing allowance, AFDC, food stamps, Medicaid, earned income. They can afford a car on that amount. The poverty level is somewhere around $21,000 for a family of four.
Jonesboro Area MPO Draft 235 Metropolitan Transportation Plan
Chapter 10: Transit (Quotes)
Introduction: Jonesboro Economical Transit System (JETS) is the public transportation provider for the city of Jonesboro. JETS plays an important role in the economic growth and cultural life of the city. [My question – how is it contributing to the economic growth of our city when they have so few riders and costs us so much] JETS is governed by a seven-member Community Advisory Board appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.
Two of the major obstacles to public transportation improvements in the MPO area are urban sprawl and neighborhood design. Urban sprawl increases trip distances – which increases the need for personal automobiles – and leads to low population densities – which challenged the efficiency of fixed-route services. Moreover, new and existing neighborhoods lack the necessary infrastructure (e.g. sidewalks) to support public transit. It is a challenge and an obligation for transportation provider and public officials to coordinate the development of the community to make it a more "livable community," especially for those who have to rely on public transportation.
Bicycle racks are available on all JETS buses in order to facilitate and encourage multi-modal trips.
Goal 3 - Encourage transit ridership and minimize the impact of vehicles on the metropolitan area's environment so that minimum acceptable air quality levels established by the National Ambient Quality Standards are maintained.
Note: [The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under authority of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) that apply for outdoor air throughout the country. NAAQS requires the EPA to set standards on six criteria air contaminants: (1) Ozone (2) Particulate Matter (3) Carbon monoxide (4 Sulfur dioxide (5) Nitorgenoxides (6) Lead
Policy 2 The MPO and JETS will encourage ridership increases by providing efficient, low-cost, safe, accessible, and more reliable service, and by promoting the enhancement of infrastructure that supports sustainable transit modalities that are an alternative to the operation of personal vehicles. The MPO and JETS recognize that the development of alternative transportation options will reduce traffic congestion, mitigate threats to air quality, and enhance Jonesboro's livability.
Policy 3 – Maximize financial resources by securing federal, state, and local funding. JETS will continue to obtain funds from federal, state, and local authorities for capital improvements and operation of the transit system, and will continue to leverage discretionary funds for transfer stations, buildings, replacement vehicles, and other improvements.
Policy 4 JETS and MPO will continue to promote transportation alternatives through a ridesharing program coordinated through the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce's Existing Industries Committee. This effort will encourage employees and employers to participate in the ridesharing and vanpooling programs because ridesharing….reduces mobile source emissions.
Policy 5 – The MPO and JETS will continue to promote the development of non-personal vehicle transportation, with increased focus being given to the improvement of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and enhancing their connectivity to public transit… Also JETS and MPO will collaborate with all willing human service transportation providers to achieve coordinate public transportation according to the Mobility Management concept [Mobility Management Concepts is a European model for fewer cars, more public transit, bicycles and walking.]
Jonesboro Area MPO Draft 235 Metropolitan Transportation Plan
Chapter 14: Environmental Justice (Quotes)
Executive Order 12898 directs every federal agency to make Environmental Justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing the effects of all programs, policies, and activist on minority populations and low-income populations
Because the Jonesboro MPO receives federal funding through DOT and FHWA, the organization is subject to, and complies with the federal government's Environmental Justice mandates.
Goals and Objectives:
Goal 3 – Improve the public involvement process, strengthen community-based partnerships, and provide minority and low-income populations with opportunities to learn more about and improve the quality and usefulness of transportation in their lives.
Goal 4. Improve data collection, monitoring, and analysis tools that assess the needs of, and analyze the potential impacts on minority and low-income populations.
Goal 6 - Avoid disproportionately high and adverse impacts on minority and low-income populations
The above goals and objectives lead to frame-specific environmental justice policies that will preserve and enhance the equity of the transportation system.
Policy 1 – Ensure that programs, policies, and other activities do not have disproportionately high and adverse effects on minority and low-income populations.
A primary objective of the city of Jonesboro's public transit service, JETS, is to serve minority and low-income populations.
Policy 2 - The MPO identifies minority and low-income populations early in the planning process to examine and address their concerns. This includes all public involvement plans and activities, development of the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, Transportation Improvement Program, and the Unified Planning Work Program
Policy 3 - Prevent the denial of, reduction in, or significant delay in the receipt of benefits by minority and low-income populations. The MPO will work towards ensuring that there is no bias in project selection and will monitor the progress of TIP projects in areas with minority or low-income populations to avoid delays in completing those improvements.
End of Quotes
My Opinion: It would appear that our entire transportation, infrastructure, and improvements are being designed for minorities and low income citizens, not for economic growth or the good of the whole as the planners indicate (another form of redistribution of wealth.) If you study their information, you will find that we will be paying more taxes for them to take our cars away. Being dependent on mass transit now will be the same as depending upon the government for our transportation because the government is behind all of this and has and is passing laws to control all of it. We see now through TSA what the government can subject us to through public transportation. We will be totally under the government's control when they gain control of our transportation. Taking our cars away will be just as destructive as or more so than taking away our guns because it takes away our means of travel to necessary places in the event of an emergency or in time of civil unrest.
And remember that the minorities and low income citizens get all kinds of benefits. When you add together their welfare, AFDC, food stamps, Medicaid, housing allowance, earned income, etc. they receive from $36,000 to $40,000 annually. Anyone with this amount of assistance can buy a vehicle that will serve him or her well for city travel. There is no need to disrupt our entire society for this.