Live Oak County considers public transportation options
Nov 24, 2013 | 153 views | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As wrecks increase in Live Oak and other South Texas counties, the Live Oak County commissioners are looking into public transportation options to provide travel alternatives for residents and to lower the total number of vehicles on the road.

“It would reduce congestion to urbanized areas,” Martin Ornelas, director of the Transportation Coordination Network of the Coastal Bend, said.

Ornelas met with the commissioners on Friday, Nov. 15 to discuss the planning process.

“Public transit is perceived to be for seniors,” Ornelas said. “However, it’s for whoever wants to go to the store or visit a neighbor.”

The first step is to form a work group specifically for the county to focus on where transportation is most needed, and who needs it. Next, a series of forums could be held sometime between January and March for public input on what the group proposes. In late spring, the work group, Bee Community Action and the TCN will compile all of that information into a final plan for the commissioners to endorse, ideally by July of next year.

“I see needs for people with one vehicle,” commissioner Richard Lee said.

Ornelas said traffic patterns will be analyzed using Texas Department of Transportation software, to get a better idea of traffic origins and destinations. He said funding for the planning process is covered by TxDOT.

As for the actual transportation program, it’s funded by a combination of sources, including private industry, according to Ornelas.

The work group will be chaired by Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff. The next step is to find three to five local residents to help identify transportation needs and possible stakeholders.

In other Live Oak County Commissioners news:

• George West Storyfest raised $30,000 this year and $23,000 will go to the local groups who operated vendor booths during the festival, according to Storyfest’s Executive Director Mary Margaret Campbell.

Judge Huff commended Campbell for the successful 25th annual Storyfest.

“I continue to be impressed by your boundless energy and am glad you expend it for others,” commissioner Donna Mills said.

• The George West FFA Ag Issues team gave a presentation to the commissioners court just like they did for the George West School Board earlier last week. The team’s presentation was over the economic benefits versus the environmental impacts brought on by the oil and gas industry in Texas.

Sarah Crawford, Lauren Carroll and Taylor Thompson presented the environmental aspects. Script write Shelby James presented the economic benefits along with Allison Ruiz, Kailey Keach and Lindsey Hajek.

“The people and culture are what makes this state special,” James said at their presentation’s conclusion.

• The next Live Oak County Commissioners meeting will be held on Nov. 26 at 9 a.m.
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