The year 2035 regional transportation system plan was adopted by the Regional Planning Commission in June 2006, and was the result of a major review and reevaluation of the year 2020 regional transportation plan (see SEWRPC Planning Report Number 49, “A Regional Transportation System Plan for Southeastern Wisconsin: 2035”).
Every four years, the Commission conducts an interim review and update of the regional transportation plan, in part to address Federal requirements. The first interim review and update of the year 2035 regional transportation system plan was completed in June 2010 (see here). In June 2014, the Commission conducted another interim review and update of the year 2035 plan.
The 2014 interim review and update was guided by the Commission's Advisory Committee on Regional Transportation Planning. This interim review and update included an assessment of the implementation to date of the year 2035 regional transportation plan, a review of the year 2035 forecasts underlying the plan, and a monitoring of current transportation system performance. The review and update also examined whether it remains reasonable for the recommendations in the year 2035 regional transportation plan to be accomplished over the next 20 years, given the existing and reasonably expected to be available funding. This assessment of available funding also considered the restrictions and limitations of existing funding.
In 2014, the existing, and outlook for future, available revenue was far more constrained than in 2005 during development of the year 2035 regional transportation plan and in 2010 during its first update. As a result, it was no longer possible to conclude with the 2014 plan update that the plan was reasonably consistent with existing and reasonably expected revenues, and the current limitations of those revenues. As such, it was necessary to consider the year 2035 plan as a “vision” plan, outlining the desirable transportation plan to address the current and future needs of the Region. It was further necessary to identify a “fiscally constrained” year 2035 regional transportation plan which includes those elements of the 2035 plan which can be achieved within the restrictions of the amounts and limitations of existing and reasonably expected revenues.
The gap in funding between the vision plan and fiscally-constrained plan affects implementation of both highway and transit projects identified in the vision plan. The implications of the funding gap for the highway element differs from the transit element as highway expenditures are largely capital expenditures and transit expenditures are largely operating expenditures. The effect on the highway element is a deferral or delay in capital projects being implemented, specifically a reduction in the amount of freeway that can be reconstructed and the amount of surface arterials that can be reconstructed with additional traffic lanes or newly constructed by the year 2035. The principal effect on the transit element is a lack of the transit improvement and expansion identified under the vision plan, and as well reductions in current transit service and an increase in transit fares above inflation.
The 2014 interim review and update of the year 2035 regional transportation system plan is documented in SEWRPC Memorandum Report Number 215, "Review and Update of the Year 2035 Regional Transportation Plan".
Relationship to the Year 2050 Regional Land Use and Transportation Plan (“VISION 2050”)
The Commission is currently developing a year 2050 regional land use and transportation plan (“VISION 2050”), the sixth-generation regional land use and transportation system plan for the Southeastern Wisconsin Region.
When completed and adopted by the Commission, the VISION 2050 plan will supplant the year 2035 regional land use and transportation plan. The Commission will then conduct an interim review and update of the VISION 2050 plan every four years.