CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The city council is looking at what the city could need down the road for transportation. Council heard a presentation Tuesday night on the Long Range Transportation Plan (2045) from the Regional Planning Commission.
The plan looks a couple decades into the future, and was developed based on extensive public input from people in the greater Champaign-Urbana area. Key highlights of the plan include the proposed Illinois Terminal expansion, the demand for pedestrian and bike access, and an overall reduced carbon footprint.
This plays hand-in-hand with the future business and economic growth of the C-U area, with Champaign growing the most rapidly.
Champaign has well over 80,000 people, and grows every year. In spite of growth, however, commute times from home to work remain the same…about 15 minutes.
City planner Lacey Raines Lowe says that’s a big draw for Champaign, as people surveyed want to see the city’s future expansion come from within.
“Thinking about growing in a compact and continuous way, so something that doesn’t facilitate sprawl, but grows within where existing services are provided,” Lowe explained.
Then, we get into Ashlee McLaughlin’s territory. She’s with the Champaign County Regional planning commission, and heading up the Long Range Transportation Plan.
“We envision people maybe working closer to where they live, and going to school closer to where they live, and having better bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure,” said McLaughlin.
She says that could mean places like Champaign and Urbana growing even larger, while smaller towns…like Bondville and Tolono, could be shrinking.
However, another big priority of this plan is making sure people who live in the more rural areas have more transit options.
You can read more about the plan here.