VTA asks for public comment on new plan

Residents had the opportunity Wednesday to comment on the Valley Transportation Authority’s transportation plan.

The plan, called the Valley Transportation Plan 2040, includes a list of possible projects throughout not only Morgan Hill, but the entire jurisdiction of VTA’s transit projects, including BART to San Jose, light rail improvements, Caltran improvements and county road projects.

Held at the Centennial Recreation Center on W. Edmundson Avenue, this was one of two meetings held Wednesday, the other in Mountain View. The meeting room held posters of maps with potential projects throughout South County and beyond, as well as a list and estimated cost of each project.

Morgan Hill-specific listed projects included the citywide traffic signal operation center, estimated in 2013 to cost $1.6 million, or the Butterfield Boulevard Extension, estimated at $1.2 million. ON the list for Gilroy is the Tenth Street bridge project, the Gilroy sports park trail, among many others.

The VTP will be approved by the VTA Board of Directors this month and a draft plan will be presented to the public in fall 2012. In Jan. 2013, the Board of Directors will adopt the VTP.

Two representatives from VTA including project manager and senior planner John Sighamony were present to answer questions.

“In order for any of these projects to get federal and state money, they need to be included in the long range transportation plan,” said Sighamony. “Once you’re on the regional transportation list, whenever state or federal funds become available, then these projects can actually apply for that money.”

He said the priority for projects could fluctuate, depending on public comment and available funding.

About 20 people in the two-hour time frame went in and out of the workshop, including former Morgan Hill mayor Dennis Kennedy and a representative from Assemblymember Luis Alejo’s office, who’s district includes Hollister and Gilroy.

Tom Spitters, of Santa Clara who said he was temporarily in Morgan Hill, commented on the importance of public transportation.

“I’m interested in how you go about funding these projects,” he told Sighamony.

Members of the public can make comments in many ways, said public communication specialist for VTA, Robin Doran. Either through comment cards, online at www.vta.org/vtp , email at [email protected], or call at (408) 321-7575.


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