The Danville Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), staffed by the West Piedmont Planning District Commission (WPPDC), is seeking public input for its Long Range Transportation Plan update.
The MPO Long Range Transportation Plan is a document required to be updated on a five-year basis as a pre-condition for receiving public funds for transportation projects in the City of Danville and the adjacent urbanized area of Pittsylvania County. Two main components of the plan are the constrained element and the vision element. The constrained element is a compilation of priority projects reasonably expected to be funded over the life of the plan, while the vision element consists of those projects for which no funding sources have been identified, but which are considered important for the region.
In past years, the MPO has held public meetings to obtain input for former iterations of the Long Range Plan, the last of which was adopted in 2015. The social distancing guidelines due to COVID-19, however, presented the MPO with a unique problem with regard to soliciting the public’s feedback. Recently, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) began contracting with a company named MetroQuest as a means to obtain public input into a variety of plans and projects across the state. MetroQuest is known for its unconventional, engaging survey platforms, which rely heavily on visual and other interfaces familiar to most people as a means to record the public’s desires with regard to evaluating plan or project alternatives.
The Danville MPO is currently working closely with VDOT to administer one such survey to obtain public input into its Long Range Plan update. The survey is very interactive, featuring brief sections asking the survey taker for various kinds of input. The various sections of the survey consist of the following:
- A welcome screen which introduces the user to the survey.
- An interactive map where the user can indicate where they believe transportation investments are most needed.
- A funding priorities section where the user can indicate how they would like to see funding allocated – for example, to highway construction, bike/ped, transit, etc.
- A short section consisting of a few standard survey questions.
- A short wrap-up section which includes an opportunity for open-ended input.
This survey will be used to gather input for several critical aspects of this plan’s update, and will be available until about June 20th. If you live or work in the City of Danville or southern Pittsylvania County, please take this survey today at https://danvillelrtpsurvey.metroquest.com/?fbclid=IwAR3VqAvDCsKNBoeIyArNfcL0DZ9Xh7lnpP5RMY2gD72-yWTiKLmFVenQ6xs. Your input is highly valued, as this plan forms the basis for many transportation improvements and projects in the Danville MPO area.