How will the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization’s (TPO) Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) be built for the Year 2040 update? The 2040 Plan is a compilation of strategic investments in transportation assets that will serve to connect all travelers in Brevard County both within and beyond its boundaries.
The investments will be organized and prioritized in a manner that considers financial, environmental, regulatory and social constraints.
Please click here to view a graphic of the timeline for development of the plan and when major milestones and reports are anticipated.
Looking Back – 50 years of growth and development
Like much of the Country, Brevard County has felt the effects from the “Great Recession.” The impacts to Brevard have been particularly difficult because of NASA ending its Space Shuttle program, thereby reducing NASA’s presence in the County that started in the early 1960’s when Cape Canaveral first came to life with the Mercury program. Housing speculation during the early 2000s also took its toll, resulting in an oversupply of homes that will take years to absorb given NASA’s pullback.
Brevard’s development patterns reflect the 1960s era when the County’s growth took off with the influx of jobs generated by NASA and related high tech industries. That time period was the golden age of the auto and auto oriented suburban development patterns. Much of the growth occurred along US 1 and A1A, the County’s two principal arterials at the time.
In the 50 years since that initial growth boom, the County’s auto oriented development patterns continued and primarily extended north and south along US 1. The construction of I-95 in the late 1960s and early 1970s shifted development westward, leaving much of what was built along US 1 behind, particularly in the Titusville and Cocoa areas. The map series to the right depicts the progression of land development and road construction over the past 50 years.
Looking Ahead – What happens next?
As NASA’s presence in the County ebbs, what will fuel growth in Brevard County over the next 50 years? What investments and incentives can the County provide to help stimulate a turnaround? How does the County position itself to compete for jobs in the world economy?
The County currently has an abundance of assets that can help initiate growth, including its beaches and lagoons. It has unique infrastructure; being one of the few places in the world with sea, air and space ports. It’s within Florida’s mega-region, one of eight such regions in the United States that are expected to generate a considerable portion of the world’s gross domestic product in the next 20 years.
While transportation was not the primary impetus behind the County’s growth, it was a major factor in determining growth patterns and locations. As the County transitions, how can the transportation infrastructure be used to attract and sustain that growth over the long term? What are the possible synergies among the County’s ports? How can the County improve connections within the larger mega-region to stimulate growth? Can investments in transit and pedestrian and bike facilities improve the quality of life by providing residents with more travel choices and recreational opportunities? Can such investments change development patterns and potentially reinvigorate the US 1 corridor, supporting multiple modes of travel including commuter rail?
Each of these questions and others will be posed to County residents and officials early in the update of the 2040 LRTP. This update of the LRTP will focus on the very complicated issues the County must address to effectively move forward in this time of transition, with the outcome providing a clear sense of how transportation can help leverage the transition.
A scenario planning process will be employed to build potential economic growth scenarios (a.k.a., scenario plans) and a county-wide vision for the future of the Space Coast that helps define and articulate the desires of the community.
Scenario plans essentially allow “test drives” into the future, each from different strategies and approaches. A scenario plan begins with a scenario story that often includes both initiated actions to reach desired future outcomes and responses to address perceived future external influences. (The table, below, shows some of these potential external influences and initiated actions that could foster scenario plan development.) For example, one potential economic growth scenario could include an initiative to invest in the County’s ports. This could be a strategy to capture additional freight shipping business and tourism activity to support job growth and increase the County’s tax base. It could also be a response to dealing with a perceived future rise in energy costs. As a whole, the scenarios stories are used to determine consequences and impacts which can then be used to formulate a vision for future economic growth and development.
The development of scenario plans and a resulting county-wide vision will set the stage for the development of transportation corridor improvement projects and strategies (a.k.a., corridor strategic plans) primarily centered on harnessing future economic investment. The scenarios and vision will then be translated into measurable goals, objectives and performance measures that will guide the development of transportation corridor improvement strategies for the 2040 LRTP.
Formulating a Vision
Formulating a Vision
Feedback obtained on the economic growth scenarios will be used to articulate a vision for economic growth and development and transportation investments over the long term. The vision will be expressed primarily through a county-wide vision map and supporting narrative, with a focus on how the major corridors in the county should function to achieve the vision. Both will be presented to the TPO Board and committees at regularly scheduled public meetings and added to the project website. The county-wide vision (along with the desired future economic growth scenario) are important components that will drive the 2040 LRTP’s goals, objectives and performance measures and assist in defining the network transportation needs.
Corridor Strategic Plans
The 2040 LRTP update follows a process and will produce a final product that marks a departure from past long range transportation plans. There will be reduced focus on projects designed to address typical automobile level of service standards. While these project types are no less important, instead, the 2040 LRTP projects will be organized around transportation corridor strategies, which will include corridor/place types and corridor strategic plans, and will be driven by future economic growth strategies. All of these elements will be considerate of future land use and the built environment in addition to multiple modes of transportation.