Reading, PA – Transportation officials are trying to ensure that the public has a greater role in making decisions about roadway, public transportation, bicycle and pedestrian investments in Berks County and are looking for your input into the best way to achieve that goal. From now through the end of February, the Reading Area Transportation Study (RATS) is 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.
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 buses; we also walk, bicycle, carpool, take a taxi, or telecommute. Over time, our transportation needs outgrow the current transportation system and changes are needed.
“Every member of the community depends on the transportation system, and every member of the community should have a say in how we develop and improve that system,” said Michael D. Golembiewski, a transportation planner with the Berks County Planning Commission.
The first step in this process will be a publicly-available survey asking respondents to recommend the best ways to exchange information and asks for ideas on how they can be more responsive to your issues. The results of the survey will be incorporated into an updated Public Participation Process that will then be used in all of the organization’s efforts.
The Reading Area Transportation Study (RATS) is the federally-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for Berks County. It is charged with assessing all of the transportation needs of our area (roadway, non-motorized, and public transportation), preparing a Long Range Transportation Plan and the Transportation Improvement Program. Additionally, RATS prepares a variety of individual studies that help to formulate the Long Range Plan and Transportation Improvement Program. These plans then guide the activities of RATS, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and BARTA.
The survey can be found here; by going to the Berks County Planning Commission’s web site (www.co.berks.pa.us/planning); or a paper version can be requested by calling 610-478-6300 or emailing [email protected] .