RIDGWAY — The North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission has launched the development of a regional freight and mobility plan for the six-county planning region, including Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties.
The plan’s intent is to serve as a blueprint for the region’s decision making on planning for freight-related transportation infrastructure, and will include a long-term spending plan for addressing those needs throughout the next 25 years.
A major area of emphasis for the freight plan for the freight plan will include an investigation into how the region should address the decline of coal as an industry. AS the total number of coal-fired plants continues to dwindle, the consumption of coal is anticipated to decline further.
“Coal has been a mainstay of our region’s economy,” said NCPRPDC Executive Director Jim Chorney. “As we see demand for coal continuing to decrease, we need to look at ways in which we can rethink our future.”
In cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Commission staff are leading the update of the regional plan.
The Commission also plans to host a regional freight summit next spring, where planners and economic-development officials can learn more about goods movement issues within the North Central region.
“The development of the freight plan is a regional-wide conversation, and an important opportunity for those who do business within the region, to discuss how we want to address freight transportation issues over the longterm,” said Director of Community Development and Regional Planning Amy Kessler. “We all have a stake in those decisions, for our own future and economic competitiveness.”
The final version of the freight plan will reside on an online platform, where members of the public and freight community can interact with the plan’s content, which will include information on commodity flows, county freight profiles and other data elements.
The Commission is inviting public input through an online survey at www.NCFreight.metroquest.com.
For more information, contact Kessler at 814-773-3162.