Welcome to the project website dedicated to the 2023 Great Falls Area Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The previous LRTP was completed in 2018 and amended in 2019. Although much of the information still holds true today, the transportation system and community's needs are ever changing.
The 2023 LRTP provides an opportunity to respond to the changing needs and interests of the community, plan for emerging transportation technologies, advance national, state, and local initiatives, and prepare Great Falls for future transportation funding opportunities.
This website has been created to facilitate public input and provide information about the 2023 Great Falls Area LRTP. We invite you to explore the website, provide your comments, and ask any questions you may have regarding the plan.
GOALS & OBJECTIVES
The Goals and Objectives for the 2023 LRTP are now available for public review! The updated goals reflect recent federal guidance, state and local planning directives, and community concerns.
Check out the updated goals here.
The planning effort for the 2023 LRTP kicked off in February 2023. You will have several opportunities to share your thoughts over the course of the planning effort! A draft plan is anticipated to be available by Spring 2024.
The Great Falls Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) have initiated a community-wide transportation planning process focusing on the greater Great Falls area. This planning process will assist the planning partners and broader community in guiding transportation infrastructure investments based on system needs and anticipated developments over the 2045 planning horizon. The plan will integrate with and build upon past planning efforts to evaluate and address the transportation system needs of all travel modes.
Transportation is a major concern to area residents today and is expected to remain a top priority as growth continues and the challenges of accommodating travel become more difficult. A comprehensive LRTP will provide an opportunity for city, county, and state officials, staff, and residents to work together to develop the innovative approaches necessary to plan and implement a transportation system that will serve the community's citizens well into the future.
The transportation plan effort began in February 2023. It is anticipated that the plan will be available for public review in Spring 2024.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of this transportation plan?
The purpose of this transportation planning effort is to evaluate the community's current transportation system and understand what changes are needed to ensure the transportation system functions adequately over the 20+ year planning horizon. The overriding objective is to develop a plan that coordinates with the desires and direction of the community as a whole, while still providing a safe, functioning, and multimodal transportation system that can accommodate both existing and future travel demands. The end product of this important planning effort will be a useable plan that can help guide investments in the community's transportation system.
Who is developing the transportation plan?
The Great Falls MPO and MDT are the contracting authorities for this planning effort. Robert Peccia and Associates (RPA) is assisting the planning partners in completing this planning effort to meet federal deadlines. We will coordinate with the City of Great Falls, Cascade County, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Federal Transit Administration to ensure the plan meets the needs and requirements of all affected entities. We'll also look to key stakeholders and the broader community to guide the planning effort to ensure the resulting plan adequately reflects the needs, desires, and visions of all of its users.
How will the transportation plan be used?
The end product of the planning effort will be a comprehensive transportation plan that can be used by the MPO to guide transportation infrastructure investments within the Great Falls area over the planning horizon. The LRTP will set the course for improvements related to multimodal access and align with community desires for upgrades and extensions of existing transportation facilities. LRTP recommendations may be integrated into the transportation plans and programs of MDT and other local affected planning agencies based on funding availability. The LRTP will also provide information to support future implementation efforts by identifying appropriate funding sources.
How can the public/community contribute to the planning effort?
The public is invited to participate in the process through surveys, public open house events, and ongoing information review and input. This website has been developed to provide opportunities to comment on the needs of the community's transportation system and later, on the draft recommendations. Event dates, times, formats, and locations will be announced through local media sources, city social media channels, the transportation plan mailing list, and this website.
Everyone with an interest in the effort is encouraged to join the plan's email list by completing the email signup form below. Additionally, an interactive public commenting platform is available here, and can be used to share your thoughts at any time. RPA and the planning partners will collect and consider all public comments received to better understand the public view of potential issues and needs.
How will recommendations be evaluated?
The planning effort is designed to determine impacts - both adverse and beneficial - of potential transportation improvements in the study area. Consideration of planned and ongoing land development, the environment, community values, and sound engineering standards will shape the recommendations and study findings. In some cases, decision makers will be faced with conflicting desires and needs during the transportation planning process. Determination of recommendations will involve analysis of the previous plan's recommendations, comparing the trade-offs among the potential improvement ideas, as well as consideration of all public comments. The Great Falls MPO, City of Great Falls, Cascade County, and MDT will consider these comments and evaluate all relevant information as appropriate when making final transportation plan recommendations. It is intended that the plan and its recommendations will reflect the outcome of this process and identify the most beneficial improvements for the community transportation system.
The development of this transportation plan includes an extensive public involvement process to encourage community engagement and meaningful participation. Over the course of plan development, multiple public outreach activities will be devoted to defining relevant issues, understanding community needs, and presenting preliminary findings. The planning team will also schedule events to solicit public input during development of recommendations to ensure identified needs and concerns are addressed. At the end of the planning process, a public hearing will be held to facilitate formalization and adoption of the plan.
Check your local news sources, social media channels, and this website periodically for information relating to the time, format, and location of future public events or sign up for email updates below.
Have a comment about a specific location?
We want to hear from you! Click below to add your comment to our interactive commenting map.