The Overall Transportation Plan (OTP)
The implementation of the Overall Transportation Plan (OTP) is critical in the overall development of the City as it guides future roadway improvements, construction of new facilities, and outlines the City’s transportation goals. The revision and adoption of the OTP is a deliberate and thoughtful process whose goal is the complete understanding of the relationship between land use and the transportation infrastructure required to support those land uses. The adoption of the OTP by ordinance, sets forth long term capital planning and financing considerations designed to ensure that basic transportation infrastructure needs and right-of-way will be available as the city grows and network needs improvements.
This updated document is a continuation of the effort that the City completed in 2004 with the adoption of the initial OTP, which provided an analysis of existing conditions and travel characteristics, a travel demand model, review of the City’s roadway functional classification system, and a revised Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The 2004 OTP assisted the City in defining cross-sectional needs as well as access management and detailed intersection needs.
Since the 2004 OTP, the City has experienced tremendous growth, including several major retail and residential developments. Additionally, Georgetown’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2008 includes a revised Future Land Use Plan. While the Comprehensive Plan serves as a guide for physical growth and land use within the City, the OTP provides guidelines for transportation management and development. These documents should be used in coordination with one another, not as separate competing documents.
This update serves many purposes. It builds upon the previous plan, accommodates city wide changes, recommends new roadway locations and functional classifications, revises the implementation program and improves design recommendations through the implementation of Context Sensitive Solutions. The update also provides a review of the existing sidewalk and pedestrian/bicycle infrastructure and outlines the requirements for future analysis and planning studies.
The transportation improvement recommendations are based on the projected 2035 travel demands. The implementation program will categorize improvements through short-term and long-term prioritization recommendations. The improvements already chosen for funding are identified as “near term” and those where funding, routing, and right-of-way have not been identified are considered “long term”. Potential improvements offered for consideration include roadway widening and/or extensions, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and transit programming. The study involves an evaluation of various transportation improvements and considers the impacts related to traffic/mobility, anticipated construction, and right-of-way costs as well as environmental/land use criteria. As part of the study, the travel demand model has been updated and integrated with the CAMPO’s 2035 plan/model providing a more detailed transportation zone structure and socioeconomic data enabling a better forecast of future travel demands in and around the Georgetown area.
The study area for the OTP includes the City of Georgetown city limits as well as the Extra Territorial Jurisdictional (ETJ) area, which typically extends one to two miles beyond the city’s limits. This area includes added roadways of which the City has sole control, including Williams Drive, Shell Road, D B Wood Road, and Inner Loop. These facilities provide critical connectivity for the residents within the City and, while there are some limitations, there are opportunities for roadway expansion.
The development of the OTP was a cooperative effort between the City of Georgetown Staff and other City-supported agencies. While a Technical Advisory Committee was not specifically set up for this effort, the Georgetown Transportation Advisory Board (GTAB) was updated on a regular basis. During each of the presentations, comments and suggestions were solicited and considered during completion of the OTP.
The goals and objectives of the OTP are:
- Implement improvements to the local road and traffic control system, including new thoroughfare linkages to enhance connectivity, improved and coordinated traffic signalization, standards for access management to enhance traffic flow and safety.
- Progress toward a functional, well-integrated, multi-modal transportation system that provides a variety of choices – bicycle, public transportation, and pedestrian – on a local and regional level.
- Reduce reliance on single-occupant automobile traffic by retrofitting bicycle lanes and sidewalks in underserved areas to enhance bicycle and pedestrian mobility; incorporating these facilities in new developments; and encouraging compact mixed-use and other “walkable” development types.
- Guide the future growth and development of the City toward a more balanced approach between employment and commercial centers, schools and other high traffic generators.
The OTP is developed through a deliberate, thoughtful and collaborative process. It forecasts needs based on existing conditions and assumptions and therefore is critical that it remain a flexible and working document. Acknowledging that as land uses, the economic environment, and travel demand needs evolve over time, amendments to the adopted network may be warranted. The recommendations provided herein set forth long term financing and technical design work flows for both public and private sector activities. Changes to the City’s transportation infrastructure plan must recognize and fully understand the affect those changes will have on private and public interests. Modifications to the recommended transportation networks described by this OTP should only result from similar, deliberate and technical studies and the appropriate public processes set forth in the City’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan.