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MPO Starts Regional Planning Meetings For Boerne, New Braunfels And Seguin

Joey Palacios
TPR News

The San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization is beginning a regional transportation plan to include Boerne, New Braunfels and Seguin for the next 25 years of growth.

In that time, the metro population is expected to grow by 1.5 million, fueling the need for an integrated transportation outlook.

The MPO has managed the gasoline tax for projects only in Bexar County for more than 50 years, but its mission is changing. MPO spokesman Scott Ericksen said the 2010 census showed population density has increased northward along IH-10, Hwy. 281, and especially IH-35.

"And that requires, by federal law, for the MPO to expand its boundaries," Ericksen said. "So we’ve been working with Guadalupe and Comal Counties, talked to Kendall, and Boerne as well. And the idea is that we’re doing transportation planning for the region, rather than just San Antonio and Bexar County."

Kendall County has opted out of joining the MPO. Comal County Judge Sherman Krause said his county just this week approved joining the MPO, with a couple of contingencies:

"Essentially the contingency is that the cities of New Braunfels, Seguin and Boerne all vote to join as well, along with Guadalupe County -- that it’s a 21-member board and that those jurisdictions get five seats on that board," Krause said.

Ericksen said the makeup of the new MPO will need state and federal approval, which could take several months. The actual name of the board would be changed to reflect its new mission.

The planning process will look much like San Antonio’s SA2020 meetings with visioning, narrowing focus and final planning stages. The MPO is asking people from all the regions to attend their area’s public meetings for the visioning process starting Monday.

Project ideas gathered from the fall meetings will be refined and presented to the public for a review in the spring, working toward a finalized 25-year program by December 2014.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.