SORTPO working on inventory of active living facilities | Community


The Southwest Oklahoma Regional Transportation Planning Organization (SORTPO) is in the process of gathering information on active living in order to build a database and map to build a better plan and further the needs of the southwest.

SORTPO will use this information to develop a map based on trails, bicycle lanes and conduct a pedestrian facilities inventory, along with others ways for patrons to stay active and healthy.

Julie Sanders, with Southwestern Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA), said they work with 16 counties in regional transportation planning organization and they cover the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments (ASCOG) as well as SWODA.

“One of our projects this year is to identify … active living — sidewalks, bike trails, walking facilities in our 16 counties to see about linking them and how do we link them in the future,” Sanders said. “Right now there’s not a comprehensive inventory of facilities available.”

Ronald Peel, with ASCOG, said the state has natural beauty accessible by more than just vehicle.

“We have bicycle and pedestrian facilities, off road trails and other and recreational facilities across our 16 counties,” Peel said. “We will also be regional identifying bike clubs, running groups, hiking groups and similar groups that could be added to our active living resource file.”

That’s why SORTPO wants to make it known to the public if there are facilities available in Lawton, Altus, Duncan, Comanche or anywhere in the area for use.

“We all need to pull together to promote healthy living within our great state,” Peel said.

Sanders said between work with ASCOG and the Tobacco Settlement Entitlement Trust (TSET), the goal is to provide an inventory of these active facilities.

From there, they “will develop an overall map to show where these facilities are and how they can link up so we can have better connection for people who are not able to drive or choose not to,” Sanders said.

“We’re calling it active living because it’s not just about bicycles and it’s not just about pedestrians,” Sanders said. “We want to make sure that people are healthy but also able to get to their employer also.”

The information will go into a database as well as on a map which can provide information on infrastructure, its location and how to plan improvements or make connections between them.

SORTPO asks for the people and businesses in the community to help assist in compiling an inventory of the trails, paths and facilities in local areas by sending them maps, plans, reports and studies of existing and proposed facilities.

The goal is to encompass every community within this 16 county region.

For more information, email Ronald Peel with SORTPO at peel_ro@ascog.org.

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