Transportation officials seeking input on outreach efforts
In one way or another, our transportation system affects our lives on a daily basis. We travel back and forth to work, school, shopping, medical appointments or recreation activities. The goods that we consume are shipped between factories, warehouses and stores. People and goods travel in cars, trucks, trains, or busses; we also walk, bicycle, carpool, take a taxi, or telecommute. Over time, our transportation needs outgrow the current transportation system and changes are needed.
The Reading Area Transportation Study (RATS) is the regional body of appointed officials charged with assessing the transportation needs of our area and preparing various plans and programs. One of those plans, the Public Participation Process, deals with the policies and practices used to ensure the public has a greater role in making decisions about roadway, public transportation, bicycle and pedestrian investments in Berks County. It ensures that the opinions and needs of special populations are considered by the planning process. We are looking for your input into the best way to achieve these goals.
RATS is beginning the process of updating the Public Participation Process document. From now through the end of February, we are soliciting comments from the community to identify the best ways to both inform the public of pending transportation plans and projects and to get the public’s feedback on their content. A survey link has been posted at www.co.berks. pa.us/planning as an initial method to gauge the public’s preferences to a variety of outreach methods. As a person or an organization that represents a particular segment of the community, we ask that you complete this survey and also forward this information to those whom you represent. If you wish, we would be happy to forward printed surveys for your clients/constituents to complete.
Two meetings will be held to hear from community organizations and activists regarding outreach methods and results. These meetings are not about specific projects or issues; rather, they are about the exchange of information and how to best engage the public in the transportation planning process.
On Tuesday Feb. 21, a nighttime meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Berks County Agricultural Center (1238 County Welfare Rd, Leesport, PA 19533), and on Tuesday, Feb. 28, a daytime meeting will be held at 4 p.m. in the Berks Area Reading Transportation Authority (BARTA) boardroom (1700 N. 11th Street, Reading, PA 19604).
By using the results from the survey and input from these meetings, the Public Participation Process will be updated to ensure more thorough communication with the public is achieved. We hope you can attend one of these sessions. For planning purposes, including the need for scheduling translation/interpretation services, we ask that you RSVP no later than Feb. 14, for the Feb. 21 meeting or no later than Feb. 21 for the Feb. 28 meeting, to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 610-478-6300.