Feedback sought for RPO transportation plan

Published 9:49 am Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Public input and feedback is crucial to the development of any type of plan for public services, and is especially so for the development of transportation in a growing county such as Stanly. And, when that plan is designed to guide such development 20 to 30 years into the future, the importance of determining how people and goods will move is magnified.
Even so, building public participation in the input and feedback process can be quite the challenge, according to Lee Snuggs, director of the Rocky River Rural Planning Organization (RRRPO), whose organization is collaborating with NCDOT to develop a Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP) for Stanly County.
“Last year, we put together a plan for Anson County,” Snuggs said, “and when we were getting started, we were told that if we could get 10% of Anson’s population to participate in the initial survey, that would be good.”
The actual numbers, according to the Anson CTP (available online at were much lower — only 294 of the county’s residents (1.3%) participated.
Snuggs has higher goals for participation numbers in Stanly, however, stating that the target for Stanly is to obtain a participation level of the full 10%. In pursuit of that goal, he and NCDOT Planners Roger Castillo and Temilope Animashaun are making presentations announcing the planning process to all municipalities within the county, as well as to county commissioners.
“We are looking for persons who would like to be stakeholders for different aspects of the plan as members of the steering committee,” said Castillo in a presentation to Albemarle City Council on June 17.
Castillo pointed out that citizens who are advocates for greenways, bicycling and public transportation should become involved, as well as those interested in the future of Stanly’s roads.
“It’s a multi-modal plan,” Snuggs added, stressing that much more than just highway transportation is considered.
“The plan includes bicycle, pedestrian, public transportation, and, to an extent, rail,” he said.
Stanly residents and other stakeholders have an opportunity to make their voices heard in the planning process through a short survey that is available online as well as in hard copy.
“The survey closes on July 12,” Snuggs said, adding that the importance of planning for the future of the county’s transportation development cannot be discounted.
“An example is the four-laning of NC 24-27 East,” he said. “It’s just being completed now, but when I was working for NCDOT in 1993 is when I first saw it come across my desk. The need for this was documented back then, and is becoming a reality now.”
Citizens may access the survey at Those interested in serving on the steering committee may contact Lee Snuggs at the Rocky River RPO office, 704-986-3876 or by email at

Toby Thorpe is a freelance writer for The Stanly News & Press.