Monday, December 10, 2007

Traffic, Transportation, Studies and Plans

There are two real hot button issues out there right now: The future of Johnson Street, and red light cameras. These issues share two major components. They both show the need for realistic, thorough and comprehensive traffic studies, and they both should be addressed by the San Angelo Metropolitan Planning Organization.

According to their website, "SAMPO is the transportation planning body for the City of San Angelo and adjacent areas." They are responsible for the long range Master Traffic Plan and they are where all the different local groups working on transportation and traffic are supposed to come together to get things done. While I browsed the site recently, I noticed a couple of interesting things. First off, ASU is not represented in SAMPO, even by a non-voting member. This oversight is probably one of the reasons that Johnson Street is such a major issue right now. There has been no effort to coordinate the SAMPO Master Traffic Plan with ASU's Centennial Master Plan. SAMPO is still planning on routing 13,000 vehicles a day down a street that ASU is planning to close. A definite failure to communicate.

The second thing I noticed is that we are in the public comments period for revisions to the various plans that SAMPO uses. It is time to get in touch with them at by email or phone them at (325)657-4210. Do it quickly. The comment period ends on January 19th.


  1. ASU has been invited to attend the meetings and has attended many of the meetings during the past year. In December of 2006, ASU was invited to present the ASU master plan to the committee and to discuss concerns ASU has with the traffic around the campus. This was done and the Mayor expressed his concerns with the possible of closure of Johnson Street.

    The Johnson Street traffic problem is not a new problem as the City alludes to, but in fact was part of the City's Urban Transportation Study in the Mid 1960's. In fact, the study indicated that Jackson Street should be extended from University Drive to Ave N, and should be extended to tie into Van Buren at Avenue N. This was listed in the plan as the number 3 priority for the City, next to the Houston Harte Freeway. ASU, in working WITH the City, sold an easement to the City for $1.00 to provide for the extention of Jackson so the city could complete the plan. It was noted that by doing this extension of Jackson, the estimated traffic on Johnson would be reduced by approximately 50%.

    So why is it ASU's fault that the City never followed through with the plans? Why has the city not followed through with their master plans, but is quick to criticize ASU and President Rallo for trying to follow their plans?

  2. I have to agree with you that the city has dropped the ball repeatedly on traffic, especially when it comes to the ASU area. It is even worse than you say. ASU is not a member of SAMPO, but should be. The city, on the other hand, did have members in the Centennial Master Plan group. They knew about the road closures before the CMP was released in 2005. They were re-informed about the road closures almost 2 years ago when the Rosemont closure was brought before the city council. All of this information for all these years, and not even a footnote was added to the MTP on what ASU was planning.

    I have complained about this in 2 earlier posts here and here.

    The city has historically given traffic all the care and attention it has the water and sewer infrastructure. This is why it is important to let SAMPO and the city know your thoughts on these traffic plans.