Welcoming feedback on its comprehensive 50-year plan and recent amendments, the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) hosted a public meeting at the Charles Mack Citizen Center on Thursday.

For two hours that evening, representatives from CRTPO and the Town of Mooresville gathered for an informal event seeking regional commentary on its transportation priorities for the next five decades. CRTPO is an agency of local officials that oversees how transportation funds are managed and when transportation projects are constructed. The organization serves a three-county region — Iredell, Mecklenburg and Union — with municipality members including Mooresville, Troutman and Statesville.

Thursday’s meeting was one of three opportunities for in-person public comment about the 50-year Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP), which specifically examines highways, public transportation, rail lines, bicycle paths and pedestrian walkways. CRTPO presented recent amendments to the CTP’s planned strategies and development. All amendements focused on Mecklenburg County with no current alterations for the Iredell or Union county areas.

Amendments, said CRTPO principal planner Curtis Bridges, allow the CTP to grow and evolve. Amendments are made to reflect existing and proposed conditions, such as the addition of a sidewalk or local planning changes.

Said Bridges, “It’s early in the process where you can really make a difference … we want to hear comments on the proposed transportation for the next 30 years or so.”

He added, “Public involvement and public engagement are at every step of the project.”

The meeting’s first hour was light in attendance, yet abundant in conversation about the Mecklenburg County amendments, the CTP and the shorter-term Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which projects 10 years of improvements. The TIP for 2023 to 2032 is in development with a public comment period through Oct. 19; the CTP public comment deadline also is Oct. 19.

Town of Mooresville transportation planner Erika Martin said that Iredell County has no amendments to the existing CTP. However, recommendations for amendments are forthcoming.

“The Town of Mooresville adopted amendments locally and, now, we have to put it through this process,” she noted, mentioning that Iredell County has additional amendments. Both local jurisdictions adopted long-term changes for the CTP in September.

Added Martin, “Our large amendments include the first time the Town has had a greenway network as part of our amendments.”

Although only Mecklenburg County transportation plan alterations were presented Thursday, comments on the full network and its future were encouraged. Davidson College’s David Holthouser, director of facilities and engineering, attended the meeting to discuss the CTP and TIP with CRTPO representatives.

“There are a lot of moving pieces that could have a potential impact for the college and the town,” he said, making note of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) planning. “We’re at the front end of BRT planning.”

Once public comments are gathered fully, the CTP will go before the CRTPO Board before reaching the North Carolina Board of Transportation. CTP alignments only reach project-status when moving to the TIP, which is used by the North Carolina Department of Transportation for funding and construction.

CRTPO will host a third public comment meeting for the CTP on Oct. 10, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., at the Union West Regional Library in Indian Trail. Public comments are welcome on the CRTPO website toward the 50-year CTP and the 10-year TIP through Oct. 19. Visit crtpo.org for more information.

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