Survey is out

Published 10:46 pm Tuesday, November 19, 2019

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Polk residents asked to give feedback for comprehensive transportation plan

COLUMBUS—Polk County residents should be receiving a survey in the mail this week for a comprehensive transportation plan. 

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Monday and heard from commissioner Ray Gasperson about the survey, which he said he was amazed came so quickly. He encouraged residents to fill out the survey and turn it in, which is free postage. 

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Polk County, Columbus, Saluda, Tryon, the Isothermal Rural Planning Organization and the North Carolina Department of Transportation-Transportation Planning Division are working to develop a CTP that includes Polk County. The CTP will identify transportation needs and solutions for the next 25-30 years, including highway, aviation, bicycle and pedestrian routes, railways and public transportation. 

This is the first time a survey has been sent to all residents for feedback on a transportation plan. County commissioners approved a resolution in October to participate in the plan. The Isothermal Rural Planning Organization and the NCDOT will take the feedback from the surveys to develop the plan, which will include road maps, rail maps and bicycle and pedestrian maps. All transportation solutions identified in the plan will be submitted to the NCDOT for consideration for future funding and construction. 

According to NCDOT figures, Polk County is expected to have a 0.6 percent growth per year in population. In 2017, Polk County’s population was 21,200 people and in 2045, Polk County’s population is projected to be 25,200 people. 

Polk County’s employment is also projected to grow 0.6 percent per year from 8,700 employees in 2017 to 10,300 employees in 2045, according to the NCDOT. 

On the survey, state officials last month said they are hoping for at least a 10-20 percent response from residents. 

The survey asks questions like how good, congested, safe and easy to travel Polk County’s roads are; how willing people are to live with traffic at peak hours; how much people are in favor of widening roads in Polk County; if Polk County should have more sidewalks, greenways and crosswalks; if people would be more likely to ride a bicycle if lanes and paved shoulders were available; how likely people are to use public transit and how likely people are to support transit expansion instead of road widening. 

Karyl Fuller, RPO Director with IPDC said the public is encouraged to provide feedback for the CTP by completing the survey. The survey was mailed to all Polk County households determined by tax records. The survey includes a prepaid return envelope. Anyone who did not receive a survey and would like to provide feedback can access a digital survey beginning on Nov. 25 at 

A Spanish survey can also be obtained by emailing