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Community input needed to develop long-term transportation plan

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- 

The Michiana Area Council of Governments wants the community to weigh in as it develops a new long-term transportation plan for the area.

The organization just kicked off a year-long planning process for Michiana on the Move, during which leaders and planners will host multiple workshops and surveys. 

Michiana on the Move will serve as a blueprint to guide future transportation investments across St. Joseph, Elkhart, Kosciusko and Marshall Counties. This could control investments into improvements in public transportation, highways, bikeways and pedestrian walkways. 

The planning is in the first of three phases. The first phase will allow leaders to determine how areas across this four-county region might grow over the next 20 years. 

"Where we grow matters because that will have different effects on the transportation network," said James Turnwald, the executive director of Michiana Area Council of Governments. 

The organization is encouraging the community to fill out an online survey to help in the first phase, and help develop the final plan for the project. 

"This can allow us to see if the region say grows at a high growth rate or a low growth rate or no growth rate, how that will create problems or decrease levels of service on the transportation network,” said Turnwald. “Which then in our next phase will help us determine where there are gaps in the transportation network and where we could identify projects."

The second phase is planned to start in the fall to look at transportation issues. 

The online survey and more information can be found here. The deadline to submit the survey is September 16.

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