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Quad City Travel Survey Results, More Input Welcomed

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Your travel habits are helping predict the future of the Quad Cities.

In September 2013, the Bi-State Regional Commission sent out the "Quad Cities Regional Household Travel Survey" in hopes of collecting travel information from 1,500 households.

On Thursday, April 17th, 2014, Planning Director Gena McCullough told News 8 nearly 1,800 households participated.

"I think when you add it up, it was about 2,800 hours of time that people volunteered tracking what they did and where they went on one day of travel," she said.

A survey like this one has not been done in the Quad Cities in more than 40 years and McCullough says a lot has changed since that time.

"In the late 1960s, people traveled differently. There were fewer women in the workforce. Today, there's a number of people working - not only one job, but maybe multiple jobs and so there is a lot different travel patterns. Folks maybe go out to eat more often. They are more mobile and younger people are more mobile with vehicles so this was a way to get the information that represents our metropolitan area so that we can better predict trips in the future."

From the initial results of the survey, McCullough says 28% of those surveyed use a bridge when they travel and 58% use one at least once a week.

"I think it just confirmed that the river crossings are important to our economy and getting people around so we were pleasantly pleased that the information is helping confirm what we know," McCullough said.

The survey also asked participants which bridges they use, what they did once they got to their destination (work, school, shopping, etc.), what mode of transportation they used, and how many other people were traveling with them.

"Generally we know where people live and work when we're doing our long range transportation planning, but we don't always know which route they're taking, we don't always know if it's outside of a work trip - shopping trips, school trips, that kind of thing - so the results of the survey are going to be extremely helpful in our future planning."

That future planning can go as far as 30 years out, says McCullough, who sits next to a binder with 2040 stamped on the front. As they work on their long range transportation plans though, they are also working on their five-year plans. The next one is due in March 2016.

"We report it back to the Federal Highway Administration and register it as an adopted plan so our goal is to take the information from this survey and... then actually predict what future land use and employment might be working with our local officials and planners and engineers in the Quad Cities to figure out where the traffic will likely be and on what roads they'll take."

The Bi-State Regional Commission is still looking for input from the public. To participate in an online public meeting/survey, click here. McCullough says they will also hold several public meetings in the next month on both sides of the river.