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The city of Brownsville’s new comprehensive mobility plan has been rolled out.
The 208-page BTX Mobility Plan is meant to serve as a road map to guide the city’s development of efficient and safe transportation systems that benefit the community, according to the city. In an executive summary, the plan describes itself as a “framework that outlines strategies and related actions for the provision of safe, clean and efficient urban transportation.”
The city said the plan will serve as a blueprint “for all future modes of transportation,” providing recommendations for development of roadways, transit systems, freight, rail, bicycle, pedestrian and aviation infrastructure. The transit component was added last year as the plan was being put together.
“As the city of Brownsville continues to grow and evolve, so will its transportation needs,” according to the document. “In planning for such growth, the city will need to ensure safe and efficient travel for its residents, visitors, industries, and the community at-large. In this light, and in order to expand and improve the transportation system, the (city) commissioned this comprehensive strategic mobility plan to serve as a tool to help city leaders implement effective transportation projects, policies and programs.”
Extensive public input went into the plan’s creation, the city said, and encouraged all residents, business owners and other stakeholder to review the document in its entirety. Mayor John Cowen praised the finished product.
“The BTX Mobility plan is a testament to our commitment to progress, ensuring that our beautiful city continues to thrive while prioritizing the well-being of our residents,” he said. “We are looking forward to implementing these recommendations and embarking on a journey to a more connected and sustainable Brownsville.”
Among the overall plan’s primary elements are specific plans devoted to thoroughfares, which form the backbone of the city’s transportation system; emerging mobility, which involves developing infrastructure for new trends in mobility; and “smart city” program development, which identifies programs and technology for improving traffic-flow management through smart street lights, traveler information systems and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
ITS has to do with integrating advanced communications technologies into vehicles and transportation infrastructure, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The mobility plan’s other key elements include a transit plan featuring recommendations for what transit will look like in the future, including recommendations on route service and standards, and transit infrastructure. Policy recommendations are also part of the broader plan and are meant to help city leadership “enact meaningful regulatory and operational changes to improve mobility and implement the plan’s recommendations.”
Finally, a Capital Improvement Plan includes a full list of capital projects funded by multiple sources in order to build out a multi-modal system — roads, trails, transit and all the rest, while the Capital Recovery Program plan is about paying upgrades to roadway capacity through permitting and subdivision fees and “growing new sources of transportation funds.”
The mobility plan’s study area contains about 250,000 residents, 71% of whom commute more than 25 minutes and 71% of whom commute more than 30 minutes via transit. One of the goals of the new plan is to cut travel times.
City Manager Helen Ramirez described the plan, a year in the making, as a “pivotal step” in plotting the city’s transportation future.
“Brownsville continues to experience significant growth in both residential and commercial sectors along with a steady increase in population,” she said. “This plan will help ensure that we (have) safe and appropriate infrastructure as we grow our city.”
The full BTX Mobility Plan can be found here.