If Pike County's roads are to reflect the needs of local residents well into the future, residents need to make their voices heard now, says planning consultant Tracey Vernon of Vernon Land Use.
It's never too early to think about infrastructure. The 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan began its work at a Sept. 24 open house held at the Pike County Emergency Training Center and sponsored by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance (NEPA).
Residents know local roads best, Vernon said, as she recorded each of their comments on a giant map spread out on a table. Many of Pike County's bridges had been built in the 1960s, she noted.
Sociodemographic data flashed on the screen, including information about the means of travel people use to get work each day, and the time required.
Jeffrey K. Box, NEPA president and CEO, talked about the citizen-driven plan to learn from residents. He was assisted by Annette Ginocchetti of GIS Transportation Services.
Delaware Township supervisor Jane Neufeld went over the map from stem to stern, pointing out problems with the township's roads and public transportation. She said she came to the open house to get and share information about the state roads going through her township.
"There are many people travelling north, south, east and west on a number of important state roads traversing Delaware Township, Dingman Township, and other parts of eastern Pike County," Neufeld told the Courier. "I very much hope the NEPA Long Range Planning Public Workshop will lead to a more accurate understanding of the current condition and importance of these roads to residents, commercial traffic, construction traffic, tourists, and emergency services, and to the need for realistic future planning for state roads in Delaware Township."
County commissioners listened to the discussion and added their own ideas.
Residents came and went as their schedules allowed. They used the laptop provided to complete an online survey, which is still available at NEPA-LRTP.metroquest.com. For a paper copy, call the NEPA office at 570-664-5581.
The survey will be available for at least a month, and perhaps even indefinitely, Vernon said.