Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Some Residents Question Transportation Plan

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Some Residents Question Transportation Plan

Article excerpt

About 10 St. Charles County residents attended a meeting Monday at Fort Zumwalt North High School, and they made few contributions to a plan that is intended to guide transportation planning across the region into the next century.

What does the plan mean for St. Charles County? According to the Gateway draft plan, preserving infrastructure and easing traffic congestion are among the county's highest priorities.

But Thomas Cronan, a community service activist, made a pitch on Monday to get more buses into the county to reach the elderly and the 4 percent of the population without cars.

Cronan suggested the Bi-State Development Agency could send more buses into the county to link with local transportation systems like the Golden Age Express bus line operated by St. Charles.

But Jim Seamon of the County's Transit Authority said Bi-State probably will not send more buses into the county unless there is money to pay for them.

He said the transit authority would ask county voters to approve a half-cent sales tax for transportation as soon as several transportation studies are concluded and the authority decides on an operational structure.

Les Sterman, executive director of the East-West Gateway Coordinating Council, told his small audience in the high school auditorium, 1230 Tom Ginnever Boulevard, that some tough decisions will be made.

Gateway's summary draft of the regional plan gives some indication how tough the choices might become. The plan identifies these priorities, in order of importance:

Preserving the infrastructure.

Improving transportation safety.

Reducing traffic congestion.

Increasing mobility for the poor.

Enhancing economic development.

Improving air quality.

The most money will be spent on the highest priorities. As the plan stands, Gateway will recommend that all transportation funds in the region be distributed among programs that match the priority list. …

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