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Thursday, December 1, 2011

SH 53 Transportation Access Study Update - State Line to Junction US 95

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) in conjunction with David Evans and Associates, held a steering committee meeting yesterday at the Rathdrum City Hall. 
The study is being conducted in two phases.  Phase I is an assessment of current conditions, and includes identification and evaluation of existing access points, current safety issues, recommended access changes for the current condition, and a preliminary GIS system for managing access and approach permit data.  Phase II is anticipated to focus on the development of a long range Transportation Access Plan, including the examination of planned growth areas, future land uses within the Hauser and Rathdrum areas and the unincorporated Kootenai County.

Yesterday's steering committee meeting overview, included a review of the analysis performed for all reported accidents within the 14 mile stretch of the Highway 53 corridor (from the State Line to US-95). The reported accidents were reviewed for the years 2006-2010.  A total of 267 accidents were reported with the highest number of these, being wildlife animal related accidents.  All public comments received so far, were also reviewed and discussed. 

The SH 53 access study is considered to be Phase 1, which evaluates access management opportunities as a means to improve safety, minimize traffic congestion, and preserve capacity along the corridor. 

Inter-jurisdictional collaboration, community involvement, and stakeholder engagement are critical to the success of this Transportation Access Study.  The public is encouraged to participate, providing feedback and comments throughout the process. 

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Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Kootenai County, Idaho. Federal law requires urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people to have an MPO. KMPO was formed in 2003, to provide coordinated transportation planning within Kootenai county for the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and the Coeur d'Alene tribe.

KMPO's Board of Directors oversees KMPO for Kootenai County, ID. KMPO's Executive Director and Staff are responsible for day-to-day operational and administrative needs.