Brunswick Area Transportation Study

In order to receive federal funds for transportation, a community has to have a plan with specified parts. One is a performance improvement program. Ergo, there is this:

Granted, it is not the fault of Glynn County that the federal and state transportation agencies equate maintenance with improvement. However, maintaining a rolling average of deaths on the highway is a gross objective and should not be rubber-stamped.

It is noteworthy that there seem to be 19 serious injuries for every 1 roadway fatality. From a societal perspective, that’s devastating. Talk about disabling the population.

No wonder we have a disabled person in the Oval Office.

One wonders if the draft planhas been amended. The following were my comments on the draft in December of 2018.

Comments in response to the Unified Planning Work Program of the Brunswick Area Transportation Study for the MPO.

The first whereas in the Resolution makes no sense —delete the word “thereby”

P.4 I do not know how a study (BATS) can be an organization (MPO).

P.5 A lot of redundant verbiage. However, it should be noted that there is no transportation system in the Brunswick area and there are no “modes.”  The railroads, for example, dead end in Brunswick, bring no passengers and do not connect with any transit mode. 

P.6. Why is no co-ordination with Camden county planned?

P.8. Why are air quality, congestion and transit being left out of the program?  Is there no awareness that pulmonary problems are pervasive in the area?

P.9. “Pavement and bridge conditions” are irrelevant and unresponsive to improving accessibility for underserved populations.

Why are there no measures proposed to enhance and protect the environment?

P.10 Is all about transportation system improvements in a place where there is no system. The final item calls for efforts to “enhance travel and tourism” and is “not currently addressed.” 

P. 14 Why is the past tense being used to refer to meetings in 2019 which have not occurred?

P. 15  How does the Brunswick Area Transportation Study function as an “Agency.”  
One gets the sense that nobody knows what s/he is talking about.

P. 18  How does sub-element 1.2 differ from subelement 1.1? Why are we paying people for being redundant?  

Applying for  federal transportation funding is not rocket science. Metropolitan Planning Organizations have been in existence, to my knowledge, for over thirty years.  The planning criteria have always been the same. That Glynn  County is ignoring Camden, McIntosh and Wayne and Brantley counties is unconscionable.

P. 19  Why are we hiring staff that still needs to be trained?  Why do we expect Washington to pay for that?

P. 20  Why under “Previous Work” is this document enumerating purchases of binders that have not happened yet? 

P. 21  What are the “identified deficiencies in policies pertaining to Federal regulations” whose correction the federal government is now supposed to pay for?

P. 23. Why is the following listed as previous work as of December 17, 2018.

Conducted 30-day public comment period on Draft FY 2020 UPWP beginning December 2018, including local publications and comment logs.
• Updated Draft FY 2020 UPWP to incorporate FHWA, GDOT and public comments and presented Final Draft to BATS TCC and PC for approval.
• Published adopted 2020 UPWP on the BATS webpage.

Why are local planning agencies such as the Mainland Planning Commission and the Island Planning Commission, as well as the Coastal Regional Commission and the Convention and Visitors Bureau not included in the transportation planning process?  

I might point out that I attended many so-called BATS and MPO meetings over a two-year period and the contributions from other agencies were minimal, usually consisting of minor activity reports that evidenced little co-ordination or co-operation and were simply looking for rubber stamp approval.

P.25. Glynn County finds it difficult to generate public participation because of its record of ignoring real community concerns and expecting staff work to be rubber stamped. For example, citizens surveys have repeatedly indicated a perceived need for a public transit route. A provider put forward a proposal. County staff failed to make it happen.
The Citizen Advisory Committee is a new venture and, characteristically, staff is focused on training the members, rather than providing projects for their review and deliberation.  Why?  Because there are no projects; just more planning to do nothing much.

P. 27.  Has there been any co-ordination with the Brunswick Housing Authority as to the transportation needs of its residents, 50% of whom qualify for no rent contribution because their income is so low?

P. 32 To reiterate, there is no transportation network. 

P. 34 Where are the crash and fatality data published?  How often are they released to the public? 

P. 36  A speech by the head of the Ports Authority is not an adequate source of information for planning purposes.  The Georgia Ports Authority produces all sorts of documents for its projects, which can and should be consulted by paid staff.

P. 39 After three years, the GIS department still has not been able to accurately depict a portion of Sea Island that has disappeared into the ocean. Staff monitoring is apparently not very effective. 

P. 41. What is a “street diet”?
  How does one identify an “emerging need”?  What are its             characteristics?  What are the components of a plan?

P. 48. This looks like foot-dragging. Project should be ready to go in 2020. 

P. 52. Bicycle lanes should be incorporated in the vehicle lane area, as is done in other states. If parking needs to be removed from the roadway, then development ordinances need to be adjusted. Both Brunswick and Glynn County need to be involved at the front end. So far, co-ordination has been lacking.

P. 57  A Study cannot be an organization. While the acronym is catchy and likely reflects the perception that record keeping requirements and actually planning for the future are batty ideas, a name change seems in order. What is the matter with BMPO for Brunswick Metropolitan Planning Organization? Brunswick is the metropolis and people had better get used to it.

Does the Technical Coordinating Committee publish its agenda, welcome the participation of members of the public and include an opportunity for public comment on its agenda?

Where are the by-laws which specify how these committees are to operate?  Do they follow Roberts Rules of Order?

P. 58. does the Citizens Advisory Committee publish an agenda, review projects and solicit citizen input at its meetings. Are the meetings scheduled at a time that is convenient for working people? Are the meeting recorded and archived for later consultation?

P. 59  The list being provided is not by position, but by person. If the elected or appointed position is determinative of committee membership, the list should be arranged accordingly, with an indication that the personnel may well change after the first of the year.

P. 60.  Again, if membership on the Technical Committee is based on the position, the list should so indicate. If some persons are not able to attend, do they send alternates?