A $120,000 grant from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) will pay for an update to ’s Transportation Plan, which will incorporate previous studies with new data to help provide a blueprint for the village’s future, according to officials.
Village trustees on Monday awarded a $120,000 contract to engineering firm Baxter & Woodman and planning consultants Teska Associates, which will team up to update the plan. The updated study will incorporate previous plans and studies, including the village’s and a transit-oriented development (TOD) study.
“The goal of this study is to consider the soon-to-be completed Comprehensive Plan updates, previously completed studies and plans and incorporate them into a single, more manageable document,” Superintendent of Public Works Randy Jessen said in a memo to the board. “The study will also look at current and future land uses within the community with additional consideration provided for the historic downtown area.”
Public Works Director Allen Persons said the transportation study update will allow the village to identify and prioritize potential improvement projects.
“[It will provide] cost estimates as well so we so can prioritize,” he said, adding the study could lead to funding grant opportunities by demonstrating the need for improvement projects.
“As we know, we’ve had a history of traffic issues,” Persons said.
Baxter & Woodman Chief Operating Officer Lou Haussmann said both his firm and Teska are familiar with Plainfield, having worked with the village in the past.
“We’re not going to spend a lot of time getting up to speed on the village,” he said.
Along with traffic studies, the project will include a public information campaign aimed at soliciting input from residents and business owners.
A series of public meetings will allow residents to share feedback and concerns, and an interactive project website is in the works, Haussmann said.
“So people who aren’t able to come to the meetings can still participate,” he said. “ … We’re going to ask people, where are the major gaps in the transportation network?”
Haussmann said the study will consider issues that haven’t been looked at in the past, including pedestrian, bicycle and transit plans.
The project will also look to the future, projecting traffic counts in areas that are not yet developed, according to Haussmann.
“I think, traditionally, one of the problems this village has had … is we didn’t look far enough into the future with planning,” trustee Dan Rippy said. “I think this will take us into the future.”
The village received the CMAP funding earlier this year, with the stipulation that the project must be completed within one year.
With a June 2013 deadline, Haussmann said things will move quickly, particularly the public input phase of the project. The first public meeting is scheduled to take place during the Aug. 21 in downtown Plainfield.
Additional public meetings are scheduled for Nov. 14 and March 20, 2013.
Persons stressed that the project is entirely funded by the CMAP grant.
“The village is not spending any money out of our pockets — this is all grant money,” he said.