Residents of the Cape Fear Region have more to say about their local traffic jams, bike paths and public transportation options than they did four years ago. The Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization, or WMPO--an agency comprised of local officials and state transportation employees--is collecting public input until late November for Cape Fear Commutes 2035. This is a federally funded project that has been underway since 2010. Every four years, the WMPO spends several weeks hosting public open houses and collecting surveys to help develop funding recommendations. And the agency has already surpassed 2010’s input quota by collecting more than 2,500 individual surveys.
The WMPO hopes to get more than 3,000 surveys by the time this public input period wraps, according to Bill McDow, a staff engineer for the city of Wilmington. McDow says that to get a clear idea of what’s needed to satisfy current and future concerns regarding local aviation, rail, vehicular and pedestrian transit, the agency is also seeking survey input from experts such as architects, builders, city planners and elected officials.
"After we gather that information, all of the projects will be compiled and then we will look at where they are, you know, in Pender County, New Hanover County and Brunswick County. And from there, we prioritize what needs to be done and how much it will cost to do those transportation projects. And that’s how we get our input to the federal government and the state transportation agency, and from there, we get our funding for those projects."
McDow says that input from 2010’s surveys helped highlight necessary changes that were later made to the Cross-City Trail, and brought other issues, such as problematic traffic lights, to the WMPO’s attention.
Click here to take the WMPO's public survey.