The good news is that you, as a taxpayer, have a say in public policy on transportation. The bad news is that it’s sometimes hard to know how and where you can make your views known.
Our NH Department of Transportation is aware of that, and is constantly trying to improve its outreach.
One example is the recent Complete Streets page that NHDOT recently posted on the department website.
Another is the email sent to organizations, including Transport NH, asking for comments on their consultation process. As Bill Watson, head of the Bureau of Planning and Community Assistance, put it in the email:
Within the purview of transportation, there are many benefits to open and transparent conversation about transportation needs, revenues, priorities and related topics. These conversations can be at a very high policy level, or at a specific project level down to the impact of a particular piece of property, neighborhood, etc. And it is critical that as the transportation planning process moves from conceptual discussion to project design to construction and implementation, that open an transparent conversation, consultation and cooperation happens with federal, state, regional, and local officials, and the public.
NHDOT is asking for public comment through May 20th, 2016, on their Non-Metropolitan Public Consultation Process. The formal notice can be found here, and the process itself is available here.
Again, Bill Watson at NHDOT says it best:
It is important that we reach as many people as possible so that we make sure that people have an opportunity to identify how they would like to be involved in conversations surrounding transportation.
So go have a look. It’s a great opportunity to see how the policy pieces work together to create the transportation system we rely on every day.
Here are some reasons why you might want to have more transportation options where you live:
- Boost the economy
- Attract millenials
- Support aging in place
- Support healthy kids
- Increase property values
- Increase tourism
Transport NH and Bike-Walk Alliance of NH have put together a Resource Guide with data to support these reasons, tools to help you create more options, and funding sources to help pay for them.
We’ve put the guide on our Resources page. Download your copy here.
National Association of REALTORS® and Portland State University have released a new study on transportation preferences.
The 2015 National Community and Transportation Preference Survey found that millennials, those aged 18 to 34, prefer walking as a mode of transportation by 12 percentage points over driving. Millennials are also shown to prefer living in attached housing, living within walking distance of shops and restaurants, and having a short commute, and are the most likely age group to make use of public transportation.
The poll also found that millennials show a stronger preference than other generations for expanding public transportation and providing transportation alternatives to driving, such as biking and walking, while also increasing the availability of trains and buses. Millennials likewise favor developing communities where people do not need to drive long distances to work or shop.
The Governor’s Advisory Council on Intermodal Transportation is hosting a series of 16 Public Hearings to review and receive input on transportation priorities included in the draft 2017-2026 Ten Year Transportation Improvement Plan, which specifies which transportation projects will receive funding in New Hampshire. These hearings allow the public to express their views on transportation priorities. They only happen every two years, so if you want your voice to be heard, be sure to attend one or more of these hearings. Note that the Rochester meeting has moved to Frisbee Memorial Hospital, Community Education & Conference Center (Strafford Room), 11 Whitehall Road, Rochester, NH.
Download the updated 2015 GACIT hearings schedule.
Those not able to attend the hearings can submit written testimony within 10 days of the completion of the public sessions (No later than November 5, 2015 at 4 PM). Written Comments should be addressed to: William Watson, Bureau of Planning and Community Assistance, New Hampshire Department of Transportation, John O. Morton Building, 7 Hazen Drive, P.O. Box 483, Concord, NH 03302-0483.
Any individuals needing assistance or auxiliary communication equipment due to sensory impairment or other disability, should contact Sharon Allaire, (603) 271-3344, NHDOT, P.O. Box 483, Concord, NH. 03302-0483 – TDD access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964.
The projects developed through the Ten Year Plan process will be administered according to the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related statutes to ensure non-discrimination.
A draft of the plan, plus supplemental information, can be found here.
Here are some interesting charts showing the growth of transit statewide, and the breakdown of ridership by transportation provider in the latest state fiscal year. Click on the thumbnails to go to an interactive graph with hover-over text that displays the underlying data. A printable version, without the hover-over text, is available here.
Results are in! The chart below shows how public support is growing for transportation options. See the Resources page for a printable version and for the full survey.