Ashland seeks streetcar plan

Ashland's Transportation Commission wants to plan for commuter rail and streetcars in town, the chairman told planning commissioners Tuesday.

The Transportation Commission is hoping to get a $225,000 state grant to update the city's Transportation System Plan, which was created in 1998 and lays out a strategy for dealing with traffic issues.

"I know we've got some big things coming up," said Colin Swales, chairman of the Transportation Commission. "This plan will guide new developments that would stop you from moving in the direction that you want to move."

City officials hope to use the funds to create emission-free transportation options, according to the grant proposal.

If the city receives the money, it will match it 56 percent, by providing $125,000 for the transportation plan update. City officials should find out before July 1 whether Ashland has received the funds, said Mike Faught, the city's public works director.

Even if Ashland doesn't receive the grant, Faught said he recommends that the city continue with the two-year project — and foot the entire bill.

"The project is important to the community," he said. "We want to create a transportation system that provides for bike and rail, potentially, and pedestrian paths."

— Ashland Daily Tidings

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