Locals share thoughts at Bay County Transportation Planning Organization open house

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Many locals will tell you that it can be a challenge getting around Bay County at times.

Many share ideas and concerns about local roadways at Bay County Transportation Open House (WJHG/WECP)

Thursday, the Bay County Transportation Planning Organization held an open house at Gulf Coast State College so they can learn more about the community's vision for transportation in Bay County.

"You talk about what's important," said Mary Beth Washnock with the Bay County Transportation Planning Organization. "Safety, bike peds, transit and all these different things. That's really what they’re looking for.”

During the meeting, people used interactive methods to share their opinions and learn about current roadway projects and improvements.

Many shared concerns about safety, trails and sidewalks.

“One of my concerns is the lack of sidewalks,” said Panama City Growing Strong President Lynne Schneider. “When we look at areas, especially when we have children walking to school and the sidewalks have been damage due to the hurricane; there were not sidewalks there to begin with. I think that that's a really critical issue."

Locals also gave opinions about future plans and projects in the works, such as the Highway 231 flyover in Panama City.

Bay County TPO officials say this meeting is the first step in working with the community to make transportation in Bay County better for future generations.

"As were starting to rebuild and as we've kinda taken a look around, we say 'you know what we don't have to build it back the way it was we can build it so much better,'" said Schneider.

Officials say they will use the feedback from the event to work out plans with city and county officials to improve transportation in bay county over the next 25 years.

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