The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is starting the development of its next long-range transportation plan, "Mobilizing Tomorrow," and is seeking input. The plan will serve as the federally required long-range transportation road map for the region.

"We have the vision and big ideas in place; now, we want to hear from the public about how to make that happen," said Carlisle Mayor Ruth Randleman, who also chairs the Mobilizing Tomorrow Steering Committee.

Three forums have been scheduled in Greater Des Moines next week; a survey is also available on the MPO's website.

Funding has not kept pace with infrastructure needs, particularly as that infrastructure is aging, so the region will need creative solutions to deal with those challenges, MPO officials said.

Demographic shifts in the region are also creating changes to the demand for multimodal transportation options, increasing the need for modes of transportation such as walking, biking and mass transit.

"We heard a strong message in The Tomorrow Plan public engagement that citizens want a transportation system that makes walking, biking and public transit as viable as driving," said Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly, co-chair of The Tomorrow Plan effort.

Residents may share their ideas on the transportation system at three open houses in early March.

Open Houses:

  • Tuesday, March 4 - YMCA Healthy Living Center, 12493 University Ave., Clive - 5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 5 - DART Central Station, 620 Cherry St., Des Moines - 11:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, March 6 - Pleasant Hill City Hall, 5160 Maple Drive, Pleasant Hill - 7:30 a.m.
For those unable to participate in one of the public meetings, a survey is available on the MPO website at http://dmampo.org/mobilizing-tomorrow-survey/.