Public Meeting Set on Berkshire Transportation Plan

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A public meeting on the proposed 2020 Regional Transportation Plan will be held on Wednesday, June 12, at 4 p.m. at the Berkshire Regional Planning commission's offices at 1 Fenn St., Suite 201.
 
The draft update is a long-range comprehensive document for the next 25 years that will provide the basis for future transportation investment and planning in the region. The plan looks ahead at potential changes in modes of transportation such as the use of shared scooters and bicycles, walking paths and driverless vehicles. 
 
"This RTP update focuses on providing a safe and efficient transportation system for Berkshire County that works in all our land use contexts. This RTP specifically emphasizes the preservation and maintenance of the existing transportation system, providing nonmotorized and public transit options and alternatives to personal vehicles; strengthening our local economy; and improving our overall quality of life," it draft plan states in the introduction. "Engaging in this process allows BRPC to address gaps, anticipate existing and future needs, and consider alternative solutions that best improve the transportation system." 
 
The regional transportation is updated every four years to remain abreast developments and challenges that affect the area's employment, quality of life, priorities, mobility and environment.
 
Among the priorities of the updated draft is transportation accessibility to ensure an age-friendly system, creating a transportation management association to aid workers in getting to their jobs, expanding passenger rail and regional connectivity, completing the north-south Berkshire Bike Path across the county, preparing and facilitating technological changes in transportation modes, developing resilience to climate change, and gaining more control over local transportation funding. 
 
As the overarching transportation planning document countywide, the RTP employs a systematic approach to evaluate the performance of the transportation system, to identify "needs" or deficiencies in the system, and to develop solutions that best address any existing gaps. Once in place, the plan makes our region eligible to receive federal transportation funding. It also serves as a wish list for major infrastructure projects in the region.
 
 
The draft was completed by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and the Berkshire Metropolitan Planning
Organization. The MPO voted in May release the document for a 21-day public comment period that ends on June 18. 
 
In addition to the public meeting, comments can be sent to Berkshire Metropolitan Planning Organization/BRPC, 1 Fenn Street, Suite 201, Pittsfield MA 01201 or to info@berkshireplanning.org.
 
Following the public meeting and comment period, the draft will be revised into the final document. The MPO will need to formally adopt the document at its June meeting. After the document is adopted, it is sent to the Federal Highway Administration for final approval.
 

Tags: MPO,   public hearing,   transportation,   

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Pittsfield Police Chief Says Too Soon Assess Budget Cut Impact

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It's only one month into the fiscal year so it's still not clear how cuts made to the city's police budget will play out. 
 
Police Chief Michael Wynn told the Police Advisory and Review Board that it is still too soon to tell how the reduced budget will affect operations.
 
"It is up in the air we really just got a budget past," Wynn said. "Operationally we really are just getting our feet under us."  
 
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