The Wilmington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO) is planning a series of public meetings to discuss their 2050 long-range transportation plan.

The nonprofit WILMAPCO recently released a series of documents, collating information and opinions from the public following a comment period last fall that pertain to the agency’s evolving Regional Transportation Plan.

Details of that plan will be discussed at the “Our Town” event in the atrium of the University of Delaware’s STAR Campus Tower, 100 Discovery Blvd, Newark on Thursday, Feb. 7, from 4 to 7 p.m.

WILMAPCO will also give a similar presentation at the Greater Hockessin Area Development Association meeting on Monday, Feb. 18, at the Hockessin Memorial Hall, 610 Yorklyn Road, at 7 p.m. 

According to WILMAPCO, the Regional Transportation Plan identifies the region’s long-term transportation needs and the projects and activities that address those needs, a number of which qualify for additional federal funding.

First introduced in 1996, the current version is the sixth update to the original plan.

The latest draft states that development throughout the region is currently focused on areas that do not have existing infrastructure to support rapid growth.

With most commuters still relying on individual private cars to navigate the region – which includes both northern New Castle County in Delaware and Cecil County in Maryland – WILMAPCO’s data shows an increasing need to effectively transport people and goods, according to a press release.

Looking ahead to 2050, the current plan predicts an 11 percent increase in population, and while the plan predicts zero job growth, net population growth “will stress our transportation system,” the plan states, with roadway congestion projected to increase by 77 percent.

Truck traffic alone is expected to increase by 80 percent in the same timeframe.

According to a press release, more than $2.2 billion in road, transit, rail, multimodal, bicycle and pedestrian projects are also available for public review and comment in the Draft FY 2020-2023 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). 

That program, which includes New Castle and Cecil County, Md. improvements, implements the RTP by identifying the transportation investments planned for the next four years, ranging from preserving our existing infrastructure to building new facilities, the release states.

The comprehensive plan covers a wide range of topics, with the ultimate goal of establishing sustainable economic development through increased access to public transportation.

WILMAPCO is still taking comments on the Regional Transportation Plan, the FY 2020-2023 Transportation Improvement Program, and the Air Quality Conformity Analysis plan through March 6.

All current plans can be reviewed and comments can be submitted online at wilmapco.org.

Written comments can be submitted to WILMAPCO at 100 Discovery Blvd, Suite 800, Newark, De., 19713.or emailed to hdunigan@wilmapco.org.