Do you ever want to tell the NC DOT what you’re thinking? Well they’ve unveiled a new tool to let
you do exactly that – and they’re already asking for your input!
The new Citizens Connect tool is an online forum that enables you to provide feedback to the DOT. Others who register with the site can write their own thoughts and read all of the comments posted. The DOT hopes that reviewing prior comments will provide the inspiration for more innovative ideas and options from the public. Why does it matter? Because it’s your tax dollars we’re talking about here!
Right now they’re looking for input on how the Mobility Fund dollars should be spent – specifically how they will develop the criteria for deciding how to spend the money. But first, let me back up. What is the Mobility Fund? Well, the quick version is that Governor Perdue proposed the Mobility Fund and the General Assembly passed it as part of the 2010 Appropriations Act. It is expected to generate $173M between fiscal years 2011-2014, and then $58M each following year. The money comes from unused gap funding and by reducing the amount transferred to the General Fund from the Highway Trust Fund, and the fund is to be used to on projects of statewide or regional significance to relieve congestion and enhance mobility across all modes of transportation. Public input is just another part of the legal jargon… so here is your chance.
So what are you waiting on? Start thinking of how you want the DOT to determine which projects get funded first, and then get to typing. Remember, at least for this particular topic, this is not a homepage for rants after you’ve been caught in rush hour or road construction delays. They’re looking for input on criteria for spending the funding: What should be considered for ranking projects? Time decreased, sustainability initiatives, multi-modal use, complete streets with bike and pedestrian access, ability to find matching funds on a local or federal level, connecting commuters to work locations, etc.
This round of public input will last until September 9th, and a preliminary report will be prepared and released for a second round of public input for October 1st – 29th. A final report from all comments will then be presented to the NC Board of Transportation and the Joint Transportation Oversight Committee in December. So ready, set, go give your input for future funding.