//Public input sought on how Valdosta communicates transportation plans

Public input sought on how Valdosta communicates transportation plans

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Planning Agency Seeks Comments on Participation Plan

VALDOSTA, GA – The Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC) is seeking comments on the Draft Participation Plan for transportation planning in the Valdosta-Lowndes metropolitan planning area. The Participation Plan outlines how the Valdosta-Lowndes Metropolitan Planning Organization (VLMPO) educates, informs, gathers input from, and involves the public in the transportation planning process. The draft document will be available for review and public comment from January 15 thru February 28. It is available online at www.sgrc.us and at local libraries and city/county government offices.

The SGRC provides staff support for the Valdosta-Lowndes Metropolitan Planning Organization, a federally designated regional transportation planning agency. Federal regulations require that a Participation Plan be developed and reviewed annually to outline how the agency proposes to include the public in the decision making process of investing in transportation infrastructure.

This annual review included the addition of several federal Civil Rights statutes, updated language translation estimates, and changes to techniques used (like more virtual meetings and online engagement) that have been brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. US Census data has shown a decrease in Limited English Proficiency language groups in Lowndes County. Based on this data, several key documents will be published only in English and Spanish, however, digital translation services and other resources will allow the easy translation into other languages upon request.

After the public comment period, the VLMPO Advisory and Policy Committees will review any comments and approve the changes to the Participation Plan at regular meetings scheduled for March 2-3, 2021.

The SGRC will host a drop-in open house for the Participation Plan on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM at the SGRC offices, located at 1937 Carlton Adams Drive in Valdosta. COVID-19 precautions of social distancing and wearing a mask will be encouraged for this event. If you wish to participate virtually please contact Corey Hull prior to the event at chull@sgrc.us to schedule a virtual meeting.

Comments will be accepted through February 28 and can be mailed to the SGRC at 1937 Carlton Adams Drive, Valdosta, GA 31601, or they can be emailed to chull@sgrc.us. For more information about the Participation Plan, please contact Corey Hull by phone at 229-333-5277.

The Southern Georgia Regional Commission is a regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency which serves 45 municipalities in the 18 counties (Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Pierce, Tift, Turner, and Ware) of South Georgia. Our dedicated staff team with local governments to increase the prosperity and quality of life in our region through programs including the Area Agency on Aging, Community and Economic Development, Metropolitan and Rural Transportation and Environmental Planning, Geographic Information Systems, Information Technology, Workforce Development and Small Business Loans.

The Valdosta-Lowndes Metropolitan Planning Organization is a multi-county, federally funded transportation planning agency for the Valdosta Urbanized Area. The VLMPO conducts long range and short range transportation planning in areas including highways and bridges, public transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, freight movement among other areas.

To read more about SGRC or MPO, visit www.sgrc.us.