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Prineville City council approves TSP update

The document determines a variety of future transportation projects for the city and is essential to funding that work


After a yearlong process, the City of Prineville now has a newly-updated transportation system plan (TSP) to guide traffic-related decision and projects going forward.

The Prineville City Council approved the document on Tuesday evening following months of regular meetings with city planning commissioners and staff as well as members of the public who were invited to provide their input.

“The purpose of it is to focus on the main portions of our transportation system in the city,” explained Josh Smith, the city's senior planner. “It’s a very important document. Everybody sees the transportation system. Everybody has their opinions on the transportation system.”

The TSP covers a wide variety of topics including future plans for highways, traffic arterials, and collector streets as well as traffic signals and intersections that need improvement.

“It is used to show developers and landowners what their street network is going to look like in the future,” Smith continued, “where the connections are going to be, where we are planning roads to go through, what properties are being purchased in the future, and what right-of-ways are needed.”

The document also affects funding for the improvements it identifies. Smith explained that the Oregon Department of Transportation refers to the plan when considering city applications for state or federal grant funding.

“We have to have something identified in there,” he said. “If it’s not identified, it is very hard to apply for certain grants.”

In addition, the TSP helps the city establish the costs associated with its traffic system development charges, which provide revenue for transportation improvements.

Because the document is intended to identify long-term traffic improvements and be as inclusive as possible in the event that they need grant funding, several major projects were highlighted. Of those, a proposed roundabout at the Tom McCall Road/Highway 126 junction is considered a high priority.

“We have Apple and Facebook and all of this construction going on,” Smith said. “All of the sudden, Tom McCall is becoming a big issue — and we didn’t even talk about it in 2005 (the last time the TSP was updated).”

Other proposed improvements include another roundabout at the west ‘Y’ and the connection of Northwest Ninth Street to Northeast Seventh Street where the two streets intersect with Main Street.

Smith noted that those projects were included even though there are no short-term plans to follow through on them.

“These projects are going to be in there for years and years,” he said. “When we put together a TSP, we have to plan for these things, primarily to be able to get the funds, but it is not something that is going to be built by the time we do another TSP update.”

According to City Engineer Eric Klann, now that the document is approved, the city will spend the next few months working on the system development charge methodology update, which will give them an understanding of how they will pay for the projects.

“It’s nice to have that document in place,” Klann said of the TSP. "It's nice to have that updated and have a fresh look at everything.”




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