TEXARKANA, Texas -- Residents, local business owners and city officials gathered Wednesday to have a look at the upcoming regional Thoroughfare Plan, which plans to account for locals' opinions on transportation infrastructure improvements.
Project leader René Pastorek of Alliance Transportation Group said the project began with the Metropolitan Planning Organization collecting the data presented at Wednesday's open house.
"We looked at existing conditions of the transportation system," Pastorek said. "Everything from safety to the transit system to demographic growth, traffic patterns -- so we could present it to the public and generate goals for the planning process."
According to Pastorek, the MPO is mandated by federal law to facilitate Miller and Bowie counties' working together to identify a joint plan for transportation in the region.
Partnership for the Pathway president T.J. Davidson said he has hopes for the beautification of Texarkana. The nonprofit organization raises money to build and maintain recreational trails in the Twin Cities.
"We work really hard with the Texarkana Parks and Recreation Department and the Department of Transportation and a lot of local businesses and donors for the beautification of hiking, walking and running trails," Davidson said.
Resident Rebecca Fite took her daughter with her to the meeting and observed the informational poster boards displayed. Fite said she hoped for Texarkana to have more resources in the future, including more businesses geared toward families and young children.
"We used to live in Tyler and Longview," Fite said. "Although we're a smaller town, Texarkana does seem to be years behind."
Fite said she also wished that Texarkana could bolster downtown to make it more of a family-friendly place.
"Safety is important," Fite said, holding daughter Pamela. "I want families to feel safe going downtown."
For information on how to participate in the survey, call the Texarkana MPO at 903-798-3959