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The city of Independence is seeking public input for the transportation system plan.

Itemizer-Observer

INDEPENDENCE — The city of Independence is working with the Oregon Department of Transportation to update the Independence Transportation System Plan — a long-range plan that guides the development of the city’s transportation system over a 20-year period.

A transportation system plan is about much more than roads. It includes non-motorized modes of transportation as well as transportation demand.

Independence residents have a chance to give input on the new TSP through June 7.

Congestion at the intersection of Main and Monmouth Streets was an issue the city tried to address in the last transportation plan, which was done in 2007, said City Planner Fred Evander.

“It backs up at certain times of the day,” he said. “I would really like to figure how people can move through Independence without an automobile. Walking and biking are more efficient.”

During a presentation at Central High School, Evander showed images of how much space it takes to transport the same number of people in an automobile compared to walking or riding a bicycle.

“In Independence and Monmouth, we see very few people on bikes,” he said. “Monmouth has been doing some very nice stuff with bike lanes, marking their streets.”

Evander is working with Portland-based Kittelson & Associates on the update.

“Right now, we’re trying to have a lot of the stuff be accessible online,” Evander said.

There is an interactive map on the city’s website where people can submit comments about specific areas.

Two advisory committees have been established and are scheduled to meet this week. A technical advisory committee and a citizen’s advisory committee have been established and are scheduled to meet online this week.

The technical advisory committee includes Ramón Martínez, community engagement manager; Kie Cottam, public works director; Independence Police Chief Bob Mason; Emmanuel Macías, assistant to the vice president for student Affairs / national student exchange coordinator at Western Oregon University; Suzanne Dufner, Monmouth community development director; Mike Cook, transportation manager, Central School District; Ted Stonecliffe, transit planner, Cherriots; and Todd Whitaker, director of public works, Polk County.

The citizens advisory committee includes residents Brennan S. Burbank and Rich Clark; Sally Coen, planning commission; Harvey Cummings, developer; Tim Hinds, traffic safety commission; Kate Schwarzler, planning commission, downtown business representative; and Tom Takacs, city council.

People can still join the citizens advisory committee, Evander said.

“We know there are people who ride Cherriots,” he said. “Just getting perspectives like that would be great.”

There will be a total of four citizen advisory committee meetings, he said.

“It’s not a huge commitment, but any sort of assistance people can provide is very helpful,” Evander said. “Anything we can do to sort of try and encourage more biking and walking I think is a good thing for the community. I think transportation is very important to how a community functions.”

TSP open house

The first open house will be held online only via the project website — http://www.independencetsp.com.

The first online open house will start on May 25 and continue through June 7.

The online open house will provide citizens with an introduction to the project and an overview of the planning process.

Documents about the existing transportation system conditions associated with each of the major travel modes within Independence are posted.

An interactive map will be used to allow people to pinpoint locations of concern or interest within the city that should be addressed by the Independence TSP update.

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