The public has its chance to review a draft plan of a five year update on a Grand Strand metropolitan area transportation study.
Metropolitan Planning Organization director Mark Hoeweler told South Carolina Radio Network a problem is that federal funding does not take into account the region’s constant increase in tourists.
“Permanent population is not our problem here,” Hoeweler said. “Obviously it’s the tourist addition to that mix and we’re always behind the eight ball trying to deal with that.”
That was the reasoning behind a one cent sales tax for roads in Horry County since federal agencies base their funding on residents only. “Locals realized that this problem was not going to be solved through federal and state processes alone,” Hoeweler said.
The Grand Strand Area Transportation Study (GSATS) 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan must be updated every five years to reflect changing conditions and new planning principles. The update established goals and objectives which form the basis for the initial evaluation of projects submitted.
It’s the process of undertaking major transportation studies, identifying short and long-range needs, and targeting major growth areas in the GSATS area for intensive study. The entire planning, programming and implementation process involves input by federal, state and local governments and the public in the early planning stages.
Hoeweler said that plan looks at various aspects. “Vehicle, bus, bicycle, pedestrians all of those things are elements in the plan.”
Geographically, the study area extends from the Lockwood Folly River in North Carolina to Georgetown, SC.