CSX DRI Pre-Application Meeting I

As I had hoped, Winter Haven local Josh Hallett was able to cover yesterday’s DRI pre-application meeting for the Polk County rail hub project.

Hallett presents a good blow-by-blow and The Ledger’s Tom Palmer also covered the meeting.

Palmer led with the announcement that CSX would submit its plan for approval in mid-December and Hallett ended with “December is when the real fun begins.”

As I thought, this was a meeting for wonks and we weren’t going learn much new. We’re at the phase where the “sway the populace” publicity is over and “let’s get down to politics” has begun.

In his column, Hallett mentioned he didn’t get a copy of the questions the City of Lakeland privately presented to the group. Thanks to the work of the always informative Kevin Cook, Lakeland’s Director of Communications, I was forwarded a copy of the questions by the man who raised them: Chuck Barmby, Transportation Planner for the City of Lakeland Community Development Department.

I’m going to present the questions here. Unfortunately, they’re not going to make a lot of sense without the “Transportation Section of the ‘Evansville Western Railway, Inc. Rail Terminal Facility’ Project Synopsis dated October 3, 2007. As soon as I find an online copy of the synopsis I’ll add links. In case you have a paper copy, here are the questions and comments:

Page 18:
• The applicant should provide the data collected from the Taft railroad facility and comparison between it and the ILC facility. Comparison should also account for any proposed expansion on CSX-owned property if acreage is greater than the existing Taft operations.
• What is current truck percentage of traffic entering/exiting the Taft site and what future-year truck factor modifications should be considered on roadways within the ILC project impact area.
• Background counts should be grown to peak-season values, using the appropriate peak season conversion factors published by FDOT.
• Since adjacent local governments typically base concurrency determinations on P.M. Peak Hour (of adjacent street traffic) conditions, P.M. Peak segment and intersection analyses should also be required during the DRI review process.
• Actually, ITE does include a land use category for Truck Terminals (Land Use Category 030); however, it does not have sufficient applicable data to use in this DRI analysis.

Pages 19-20:
• Please confirm that project traffic is not adverse or significant on CR 540A, west of US 98.

Page 23:
• Growth rates published by TPO should be used in the future-year analyses. Growth rates should be compounded on annual basis.
• Vested traffic should also be used in future-year analysis and be added to background growth determined with TPO growth rate. Comparison should be made with model assumptions to ensure appropriate future growth and avoid double-counting.

Page 24:
• The US 98/CR 540A intersection should be included in analysis since it is on a significant-adverse analysis segment.

That’s it for today. I’ll let you know when I update the comments and questions with the background material.