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Residents share views on public transportation plan

Steve Mullen, front left, a planner with the North Dakota Department of Transportation, and Wade Kline, KLJ Engineering, front right, look over a map at a public input session on the DOT’s ND Moves public transportation plan Wednesday in Jamestown. In back are, from left, Tracey Miller, with KLJ, and Deb and Steve Thompson of Jamestown. Chris Olson / The Sun

Deb and Steve Thompson enjoy bicycling around Jamestown when it’s warm enough outside.

The Thompsons were two of about a dozen or so people who stopped by an open house put on by the North Dakota Department of Transportation on Wednesday in Jamestown to take comments from people on ND Moves, the department’s proposed active and public transportation plan.

The department is holding one more open house Thursday in Devils Lake.

Deb Thompson said it was mainly curiosity that brought her to the open house, to see what the transportation plan would address.

“There are quite a few bike trails here (In Jamestown),” she said. “Over the last few years we’ve discovered quite a few more we didn’t realize were there.”

Thompson said she would like to see more of Jamestown’s bike trails connected to each other. She said she would also like to see more hours that the bus system in Jamestown is in operation.

“There are a lot of seniors who rely on the bus system to get groceries and get around in our community,” she said.

ND Moves is a statewide public transportation plan the will review and identify existing and emerging needs and recommend strategies for the future of biking, walking, rolling and transit across the state.

Wade Kline with KLJ Engineering, the firm overseeing the public involvement in ND Moves, said there have been anywhere from 15 to 30 people at the open houses elsewhere around the state.

“We’re hearing a lot of support for trying to connect communities, not only intra-community connections, but connecting communities around the state,” he said.

Kline said the most consistent comments from people are the need to improve inter-city bus service. He said people can get from Fargo to Dickinson, Dickinson to Williston, Williston to Minot and Minot to Devils Lake, but people would like to see more communities connected by bus service.

“That is something that is an emerging need and is difficult to provide,” he said.

Steven Mullen, project manager for the DOT, said people have also commented about gaps in transportation systems around the state.

KLJ will take the public comments, organize them and present them to the DOT, which will use those comments to develop a draft ND Moves transportation plan. The DOT will hold another series of open houses in April 2018 so the public can see the draft plan and comment on it.

Anyone who couldn’t make any of the open houses may submit written comments online to Mullen at smullen@nd.gov. Information on ND Moves may be found at http://bit.ly/ndmoves.

colson@jamestownsun.com

(701) 952-8454

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454
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