558 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754 | (541) 447-6205
City updating its transportation system plan
City planning staff and Planning Commission holding public meetings during the process
During upcoming meetings to update the City of Prineville’s transportation system plan, one of the possible topics of discussion could be converting Prineville’s west “Y” to a roundabout.
November 15, 2012
The City of Prineville has begun updating their 20-year transportation system plan, and is inviting residents to provide their input and participate in the process.
The plan essentially guides how the City proceeds with road projects as the community changes throughout the years, Prineville Senior Planner Josh Smith explained. For example, City planning staff and planning commissioners have considered changing the “Y” at the west end of Prineville to a roundabout, or adding traffic signals at the Peters Road and North Main intersection. They look for the safest and most efficient ways to move traffic in town, and then determine what those projects will cost. The Oregon Department of Transportation must also approve each portion of the plan that involves a state highway, and ensure the remainder of the plan follows state transportation guidelines.
“That’s what a lot of these meetings are about is figuring out what those projects need to be,” Smith said.
The City last updated the plan in 2005, Smith said, but they did not address every facet of it at that time. That plan still includes a lot of information in pricing from 1998, and the City is basing system development charges on those numbers.
This time, they plan to update everything including all of the numbers and projects associated with system development charges, so they can adequately fund future transportation changes.
As they move forward, planning staff and City of Prineville Planning Commission members will host multiple public meetings to decide what transportation improvements will be necessary as the City grows.
Planning Commission Chair Marty Bailey expects to revisit some project ideas that came up during the 2005 update.
“Two of the main things that I think are going to come up are the ‘Y’ at the west end of town and whether or not we go to one-way streets,” he said. “When we did the last TSP (transportation system plan) update, there was a lot of conversation about one-way streets. The decision then was not to do it, but who knows now. The town has grown quite a bit since.”
According to population data, Prineville’s population was 9,082 in 2005 and was 9,260 as of 2011.
Regarding the west “Y,” Bailey said the City considered changing it to a roundabout during their 2005 update, and he expects discussions regarding that change to resume in upcoming meetings. Smith noted that during the 2005 update process, many people adamantly opposed the roundabout.
With those and other potential upgrades, the Planning Commission and City staff welcome public input to help them best address citizen transportation needs.
“The final decisions that the Planning Commission makes are basically what they feel the people of Prineville want,” Bailey said. “If people don’t get involved and let the commission know, the commission is kind of flying in the dark.”
Smith also recommends the meetings for citizens who may not have an opinion or idea to share, but want to know what the plan will entail.
“Anybody that has an interest should show up,” he said, “so at least they have an understanding of what is being talked about.”
The first City of Prineville transportation system plan public workshop will be held on Thursday, Nov. 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Prineville City Hall Council Chambers. For more information, call 541-447-5627.