Archive for Thursday, December 21, 2006

Proposed county transportation council moves ahead

December 21, 2006

The green light was signaled last Thursday to support a conceptual plan to create a Johnson County Transportation Cooperation Council to provide a local and regional framework to identify, study and coordinate future transportation planning in the county.

The TCC is an intergovernmental cooperation recommendation of the Transportation Task Force report presented in April to the commissioners. The task force was chaired by Commissioner John Segale.

The transportation council is designed to include representation from each of Johnson County's 20 cities to enhance local coordination and collaboration concerning the county's transportation system. The TCC also will support the regional work by the Mid-America Regional Council serving metropolitan Kansas City, and assist the Kansas Department of Transportation with state projects related to transportation in Johnson County.

Last Thursday, the county commissioners approved a resolution of intent to have the county participate in former discussion with Johnson County's cities on the creation of the TCC.

Segale, who will chair the organizational meeting of the TCC next year, suggested that Chairman Annabeth Surbaugh appoint Commissioner Doug Wood as the county's representative to council with Alice Amrein, the director of Johnson County Transit, as the county's alternate member.

The TCC was described by Segale as the "centerpiece" of the special transportation task force. The group studied transportation needs and transportation network of Johnson County, outlined several issues impacting mobility with the community and issued a report of its findings in April 2006. The report offered a series of recommendations aimed at improving mobility, overall transportation planning efforts and cooperation among the various stakeholders.

"As recommended, the TCC would function as a collaborative agency of the 20 cities and the county government, with participation by the KDOT and the MARC, and would function as a review and advisory body with respect to future transportation planning projects as well as to coordinate transportation networks and modes within the community," Segale wrote is a briefing sheet.

The future creation of a Transportation Cooperation Council was favored during a June meeting that attracted city representatives from 13 of the 20 cities. Segale said the consensus of the participants was that the concept plan for a TCC was "a good mechanism to reach shared community goals as set forth in the Transportation Future Focused Task Force."

The intent to create the special transportation advisory group now must be endorsed by city councils from each city along with selection of a city representative to serve on the council.

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