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Planners seek input on upcoming road projects

NORTHAMPTON — With $400 million in federal funding for transportation projects in the Pioneer Valley expected over the next two decades, the organization that will be requesting the money wants to make sure the public has input into how this list is prioritized.

The Pioneer Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization, which approves federally funded projects in both Hampshire and Hampden counties, is seeking feedback through a one-page online survey.

Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Principal Panner Gary Roux said the “Transportation Projects that are Important to You” survey, which was launched this month and will be available through Sept. 5, is a way to get the process going for scoring infrastructure improvements that will be added to this year’s Transportation Improvement Program.

”The results will give us insight into how residents want to see their federal transportation dollars allotted,” Roux said.

The Pioneer Valley MPO is made up of local representatives, including Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz, Amherst Town Manager John Musante, in his capacity as Pioneer Valley Transit Authority chairman, and selectmen from Belchertown, George Archible, and Hatfield, Marcus Boyle, along with other local mayors, and regional and state representatives, including Richard Davey, the secretary and CEO of the state’s Department of Transportation.

Roux said the one-page survey has the following eight categories of transportation projects that the public is asked to rank:

• projects that improve road surfaces;

• those that enhance movement and connectivity of pedestrians, bicycles and transit;

• work that aims to reduce travel congestion and travel time;

• projects that promote responsible economic growth and development, or “smart growth;”

• those that improve safety;

• efforts to protect or enhance environmental resources, including wetlands, streams, wildlife and air quality;

• work that preserves assets such as parks, historic areas and farms;

• repairs and maintainenance to bridges.

Roux said the survey is similar to one done recently to gauge interest in a regional bike-sharing program.

The survey is available online at www.pvpc.org/content/survey-transportation-projects-are-important-you

It can also be obtained in print form by calling the PVPC at 781-6045.

The survey is available in Chinese, English, French, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.

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