SPC seeking local input for Smart Moves for Southwestern PA plan

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission wants to put together a regional transportation and development plan for the future, and is asking for the public to help.

The SPC, which encompasses a 10-county region including Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties, is working on the plan “Smart Moves for a Changing Region.” Part of that is the “forces of change,” said SPC Executive Director Jim Hassinger.

“As SPC develops the new regional plan … we looked at forces of change, weighed their potential impacts to our region, and developed an approach to mitigate and/or optimize the forces,” Hassinger said. “We know what the experts think, now we want to know what the people of Southwestern Pennsylvania think.”

The plan includes three broad goals: connected mobility, a globally competitive economy and resilient communities. A public survey on the SPC’s website asks residents to rank components of each goal, in order of importance.

“The input we get from the public about three broad goals and the strategies supporting those goals will help us to capture the most positive aspects of each strategy and focus them in a way that will result in a holistic, long-range plan for the region that advances the regional vision of a world-class, well maintained, integrated transportation system that provides connected mobility for all, enables resilient communities and supports a globally competitive economy,” Hassinger said.

He said the plan would include making significant investments to advance the most critical issues facing the area and provide a framework for doing so. Combining expert opinions and public input will help hone in on achievable goals that will bolster the region, officials said.

The connected mobility portion of the plan focuses on having a world-class, well-maintained, integrated transportation system that will provide mobility for all, enable resilient communities and support a globally competitive economy. The globally competitive economy prong of the plan requires strategic infrastructure investments and workforce training to allow the region to be recognized as a global leader in technology and innovation. The component about resilient communities focuses on revitalization efforts aimed at making the region a magnet for new investment.

“Getting feedback from the residents of this region about what they think about the transportation system is essential,” said Hassinger. “After all, they are the ones using the system, and we want to know what they think.”

To learn more, visit https://spcregion.org/smartmoves.asp, or to take the survey, go to https://spc-smart-moves.metroquest.com.

The survey must be completed by Feb. 1.