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The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce meeting room was packed Friday afternoon. The Missouri House Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee invited community leaders and citizens from across Southwest Missouri to present testimony on transportation needs to a 12-member panel.
Bill McKenna, co-chair of the committee, along with Rob Jetton, have been appointed by Speaker of the House Steven Tilley to spend the next six months meeting with citizens across Missouri to discuss their transportation needs and an appropriate route of action. McKenna knows there have been lots of improvements made already.
“I think the statistics that Mo dot has over the past 3 years are very effective in showing the amount of fatalities have really dropped in MO. Nationwide they have dropped particularly here in Missouri. But they are still too high. If one person dies that’s one too many.”
MODOT’s website states that traffic deaths have decreased by 35 percent due to the combined efforts of highway safety advocates and the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.
Tom Huff, President of the Greene County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, discussed with some friends the needs of the rural community. They wanted to make sure that the Committee is taking their needs into consideration.
“The Farm Bureau is deeply interested in rural roads getting their fair share of DOTS funding”
The proceeds from Amendment 3 coupled with the federal stimulus funds swelled MODOT’s construction budget to an average of 1.2 billion per year from 2006-2011. The funds enabled dramatic improvements in the Missouri transportation system. Speaker Tilley’s main focus is to look at transportation needs and suggestions on how successfully implement these needs in southern Missouri.
For KSMU News I’m Shannon Bowers.