The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) recently launched a public engagement campaign that gives New Yorkers a better opportunity to shape the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), a vision for the area’s transportation future.
NYMTC, the region’s metropolitan planning organization, is the main federal funding channel for regionally significant projects in the Lower Hudson Valley, on Long Island, and in New York City. Once completed, its 2040 Regional Transportation Plan will help establish priorities for transportation spending, outlining ideas and potential projects that will help meet the long-term mobility challenges facing the area. NYMTC updates its regional plan every four years.
The push for public involvement ranges from an idea-sharing website to a series of community meetings (for a listing of the meetings, take a look at Tri-State’s calendar), and citizens across the region are encouraged to take an active role in the process.
“This is a real chance to get involved in planning for transportation improvements in the region for the next 25 years,” said NYMTC Executive Director Joel Ettinger in a release.
NYMTC was recently in the news for the postponement of a crucial vote on the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project, which was delayed to allow time for the review of the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement. County Executives Rob Astorino, MaryEllen Odell, and C. Scott Vanderhoef—all three of whom sit on the board of NYMTC—requested the extra time before the vote, highlighting that the little-known government entity can wield considerable power in shaping the region’s transportation network. With this broader public engagement platform, perhaps policymakers will more clearly hear the region’s demand for more bikeable and walkable streets and better transit.
A draft outline for the RTP document is already available online [pdf].