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The Department of Public Works is seeking the traveling public's input on the top priorities for transportation improvements in Springfield in coming years. The City is constantly making improvements large and small to the transportation system. But as the region's population continues to grow, our infrastructure needs grow, too.
Public Works engineers have identified more than 70 proposed projects designed to not only make our streets safer, but more user-friendly for all modes of transportation. The list was created using the following criteria:
- Increased safety for all users
- Support of economic development
- Protection and enhancement the environment and quality of life
- Provide system intermodal connectivity
- Condition of the infrastructure
- Opportunity for public and private partnerships
In all, there are nearly a quarter of a billion dollars worth of improvements that could be made inside the City limits over the next 20 years. We're fortunate in Springfield to have several stable funding sources for transportation improvements, including two dedicated sales taxes (1/8-cent and 1/4-cent) that voters have renewed by wide margins in recent years. Taken together, along with various grants and funding from private developers, these revenue streams will produce about $200 million for improvements in the next 20 years.
In each 1/4-cent and 1/8-cent renewal election, we have presented voters with a list of projects that the taxes would pay for during the next cycle, if renewed. We will continue to do that. But we also want to give YOU the chance to have more input earlier in the process, so that we can be sure we have our priorities in the right place.
The survey lists a handful of terms that may be unfamiliar. The most common is likely to be "Access control, median and driveway closures." These are proposed along major roads such as Glenstone, Battlefield and South Campbell to improve traffic flow by reducing the number of vehicles turning against oncoming traffic. An example of this design exists along South Glenstone Avenue between Sunset and James River Freeway - medians replace the center turn lane and signals give regular access to commercial areas at cross streets, with a minimum number of mid-block driveways. Parking lots in these commercial areas are all connected to allow for access throughout.
Other terms include:
- Signal upgrade: Install permanent signals or bring an existing signal location up to current standards
- Add capacity: Examples could be additional turn lanes, or additional travel lanes
- Improve geometrics: Increase the turning radius, or add turn lanes
- Six-laning: Upgrading a roadway to six lanes
- DDI: Diverging Diamond Interchange, such as the ones now open at Kansas Expressway & I-44, and at James River Freeway & National Avenue
- ITS: Intelligent Transportation System, which refers to the use of technology such as traffic count detectors, traffic cameras (not red-light cameras) and electronic message boards to improve signal timing and traffic flow