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Enid officials discuss long-term traffic goals

Enid officials discuss long-term traffic goals


Transportation: Widening U.S. 412 and U.S. 81 are high on wish list, which includes high-speed rail

Robert Barron - McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Published: November 19, 2009

ENID — Making U.S. 412 four lanes from Enid to Woodward and improving U.S. 81 north of Enid were the biggest highway needs discussed Tuesday during a meeting of Enid officials and the state Transportation Department.
Craig Moody, of the Transportation Department’s planning and research division, said the department updates its 20-year plan every five years. "It helps steer the department where it needs to go,” he said.

Former state Rep. Curt Roggow said a two-lane highway with wide shoulders would be sufficient for U.S. 81 north of Enid because of the cost of building highways.

Moody said he is hearing a lot of calls for high-speed rail service.

Air quality standards for towns with populations of 10,000 and more could also affect future projects. Moody said the Environmental Protection Agency wants to increase clean air standards.

City Commissioner Daron Rudy said the problems in rural Oklahoma are caused by blowing dirt, not cars.

Among the strategies the Transportation Department listed are improving bicycle and pedestrian routes; expanding passenger rail service; expanding the availability of van pools, buses and park-and-ride lots; coordinating rural, tribal and urban transit; and increasing communications between local transportation systems, rail and airports.

There is $8 billion in federal stimulus money available for improvement and expansion of high-speed rail service. Oklahoma has requested $2 billion, which would build the rail system and purchase two trains, Moody said.

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