SAN ANTONIO – The Transportation Policy Board of the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization took a step back on Friday to take a comprehensive look at transportation needs and priorities across the region.
Some key themes emerged: growth, connectivity and the need for regional cooperation.
“If we’re not actively working together on all of these things, we’re not doing what we ought to do for our folks,” said Kevin Webb, a Comal County commissioner and chair of the Transportation Policy Board.
Multiple leaders addressed growth along the State Highway 46 corridor between New Braunfels and Seguin and its impact on transportation.
“When we talk about growth and future growth in Guadalupe County, a lot of our focus is between the Guadalupe River, State Highway 46, 123, I-10 and I-35,” said County Judge Kyle Kutscher.
Kutscher said expanding capacity on roadways beside the interstate would be key to improving safety and relieving congestion.
VIA Metropolitan Transit also outlined its expansion plans. It plans to begin an environmental review of its North/South Advanced Rapid Transit line next year. It recently received approval for a major federal grant, the first such project in San Antonio’s history.
The MPO will use the input from officials, and the public, as it drafts its new long-range plan. While many of the priorities will be part of the plan, that can only happen if funding is found.
“It was good for this board to hear what those transportation needs are, because as transportation funding comes to this region, they’re going to be the ones allocating those dollars to these important roadways,” said Sid Martinez, director of the Alamo Area MPO. “We’ll go through the process of identifying the funding that we expect to come to this region over the next 25 years. And then we have to allocate projects to those dollars.”
The MPO hopes an infrastructure package from Washington will help ease funding constraints. There are more discussions planned on the topic next month.
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