Sierra Vista MPO Quarterly Newsletter

April - June 2015

 

PEDESTRIAN & BICYCLE ISSUE

Bicycle and pedestrian activities are an integral part of the transportation system.  Expanded access to bicycle and pedestrian facilities can improve the economic and social well-being of a community and its residents.  This issue of VIA VISTA is dedicated to articles concerning bicycle and pedestrian activities in the Sierra Vista region.

 

YOU SHOULD KNOW about the

SVMPO Work Program & Budget

The SVMPO is currently working on next Fiscal Year's Work Program & Budget.  Want to know what projects the SVMPO will be working on for the next year?  It's all in the Work Program & Budget, which outlines funding, tasks of the MPO, programs, and projects.    

The DRAFT Work Program & Budget is currently available for review and comments on the website.  Check it out at www.SVMPO.org under "About" --> Policies, Budget & Governance. 

 

In This Issue:

Progress Report: 2040 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP)

Cochise-Vista Trail

MPO 101

Highway 90 Pedestrian Safety Project

Cochise Bicycle Advocates

Multi-Use Paths and Funding

Project Update: Buffalo Soldier Trail Extension Study

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Progress Report: 2040 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP)

Bicycle & Pedestrian

The Bicycle and Pedestrian chapter of the SVMPO Long Range Transportation Plan is available for public review and comment.  

The RTP is a 25-year long range transportation plan that will be a road map for transportation projects and programs in the SVMPO Planning area. The RTP identifies goals, strategies and priorities for meeting the region's transportation needs.

Public input is an integral and necessary part of the RTP development process.  For plan updates, please visit the SVMPO's 2040 RTP project web page: www.SVMPO.org/rtp2040.

 

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Cochise-Vista Trail

Have you noticed the new Cochise-Vista Trail and accompanying bicycle route signs?  The City of Sierra Vista and Cochise county coordinated efforts to designate the area's first official bicycle route "Cochise-Vista Trail."

Designated bicycle routes are often utilized to direct bicyclist to less-congested roadways and offer connections to activity centers,

The Route was first conceived by Cochise Bicycle Advocate, John Wetack (more on Cochise Bicycle Advocates below).   The Cochise-Vista Trail begins/ends at Ramsey Canyon Road and Buena High School.  The route is 13-miles long (one way) and utilizes multi-use paths and roadways that are suitable for bicycles.  

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MPO 101

The MPO is resourced with federal and state funds for planning, thereby making the requirement to establish the organization a funded mandate.  Resources for planning are available for a wide variety of planning purposes that can help a community plan for the future.  

Planning funds can be used for studies and planning documents that will improve the transportation system.  These include corridor studies, plans to extend a key roadway, bicycle and pedestrian plans, data collection, long range transportation plans, among many others. 

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Highway 90 Pedestrian Safety Project

The Highway 90 pedestrian safety improvements were recently completed by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).  In the last 5 years, a number of vehicle crashes with pedestrians to include three fatalities prompted the City of Sierra Vista and ADOT to consider safety improvements to the road.  

Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds were used to provide a safer way for pedestrians to cross the street.  The HSIP funds allocated to the Sierra Vista MPO contibuted to the project to upgrade new street lights to LED lights, which save on electricity and maintenance cost. Also, additional funding was needed and provided by the Sierra Vista MPO to extend the multi-use path from Cloud 9 mobile home park to Avenida del Sol.  

Additional Resources:  Map of Pedestrian & Bicycle crashes between 2009 - 2013 can be found on the SVMPO web site: http://svmpo.wpengine.com/resources/maps/pedestrian-bicyle-crashes-with-vehicles/

 

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Cochise Bicycle Advocates

Organized in 2010, the Cochise Bicycle Advocates (CBA) provides expert advice and input to policy guidance and decisions to help Sierra Vista and Cochise County become a better place for bicycling.  In addition to the Cochise-Vista Trail bicycle route mentioned above, the CBA was instrumental in determining the routing of the national U.S. Bicycle Route in Cochise County and bringing the route through Sierra Vista.

 “The mission of the CBA,” reported John Wettack, CBA president, “is to promote bicycling for recreation and transportation and use advocacy and education to achieve a bicycle-friendly community.

To promote the outstanding bicycle facilities in Sierra Vista, the CBA coordinates with the City’s Library and Leisure Services Department an annual bicycling event named “Cycle Sierra Vista.” This year’s event takes place May 16 starting at Veterans Memorial Park.  Self-directed and group rides highlighting the Cochise-Vista Trail and other bicycling facilities range from 5 to 25 miles. Cochise Bicycle Advocate meetings take place the first Thursday of each month at 5:00 p.m. in the Conference Room at the Sierra Vista Library.

Picture (from left to right): John Wettack, Ken Kingsley, Thomas Armstrong, and Stu Carter

 

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Multi-Use Path Funding

The Sierra Vista region boast 29 miles of multi-use paths.  The extensive system provides opportunities for recreation and is part of an overall system that provides bicyclists and pedestrians a safe way to get almost any where in the community they want to go.  

Some of the multi-use paths were constructed with local resources or by private development, but most were funded by the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program.  Recent changes in Federal funding have significantly reduced available funds for alternative transportation such as multi-use paths. Going forward, construction of significant additions to the existing multi-use path system is not likely without local funding.

Sierra Vista is very lucky to have taken advantage of the resources that were available, but with the changes to funding and the reduced amount of available resources, it's going to be very difficult to find funds to construct new paths in the future.  

 

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Project Update: Buffalo Soldier Trail Extension Study

Public participation at the first public open house on January 20 exceeded expectations.  Based on an evaluation criteria for each alternative route the preferred route with the highest score is Alternative D.  

The second Open House to inform the public and gather input is scheduled for April 14 at 5:00 p.m. at Sierra Vista Fire Station #3 located at 675 Giulio Cesare Ave.

The DCR is expected to be completed by June 2015.  For more information about the project and announcements, please see the project web page.

Sierra Vista Metropolitan Planning Organization
401 Giulio Cesare Avenue
Sierra Vista, Arizona 85635
520.439.2178
SVMPO@SierraVistaAZ.gov

www.SVMPO.org

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