If you’ve ever had ideas about improving the local roads or transportation infrastructure, now is your chance to have those ideas heard.

The Bowling Green-Warren County Metropolitan Planning Organization is beginning the process of upgrading its long-range transportation plan and is seeking public input through an online survey.

MPO Coordinator Karissa Lemon said the long-range transportation plan is updated every five years and projects transportation needs 25 years into the future.

The plan Lemon is working on now is called the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan and will include information about roads, public transit, bicycle and pedestrian travel and even emerging transportation systems.

“We’re trying to be a little more proactive instead of reactive,” Lemon said. “By 2045, Warren County’s population is estimated to grow by 50 percent. We know we have transportation issues now. With this plan, we’re trying to project what those needs will be in 25 years.”

City-County Planning Commission Executive Director Ben Peterson said such information is important in planning for which road projects to recommend for funding from the state.

“We look at the population growth, traffic forecasts and work destinations,” Peterson said. “We try to forecast all that so we can improve how we move traffic on existing roads or create new means of transportation.”

Such forecasting is difficult for public officials without input from residents who use the transportation network each day.

“The public survey is designed to allow people to tell us what barriers they have in transportation and what their biggest concerns are,” Lemon said. “The long-range plan is similar to the planning commission’s comprehensive plan. It sets the framework for the future and serves as kind of a guide.”

Although he spends much of his time on day-to-day local road projects, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 3 Chief Engineer Joe Plunk said the long-range plan and the public input are important tools.

“This is the citizens’ best opportunity to reach out to folks who are involved in transportation planning,” Plunk said. “The MPO creates that transparent process so we’re not making decisions in the dark.

“We need that dialogue with the public. Often we don’t know that there’s an issue unless you tell us.”

Lemon said residents wanting to participate in the survey can find it on the warrenpc.org website.

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.

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