We see a theme developing, a common thread that has come through several different needs assessments of Harvey County by several different groups — each with a different motivation for generating their goals and identification of needs. 

This week as community members came together to start talking about the food system of Harvey County, one of the three areas identified that needs improvement — and leadership to make that improvement happen — was again transportation. 

This same thing was identified during the Community Health Improvement Plan process earlier this year. Improved transportation access has been bandied about for what feels like years. It has not gone away, and it is now rising to the top of the lists when needs are discussed. 

So what does that mean? 

For one, that every municipality and the county governmental leaders need to start taking a look at transportation issues within Harvey County. It does not neccissarily mean building more roads, or that our current road system is in disrepair (It is not. Our departments do a fine job of maintaining the roads we have). 

Each time this is discussed, phrases like "wholistic approach" come up. That means looking at improved public transportation access, improved pedestrian infastructure and improved bicycle access as well. 

Some steps have been taken, not limited to but including bike lanes in Newton and a county-wide workshop to talk about foot traffic and infastructure needs. 

There is another working group meeting next week to discuss transportation issues countywide. 

Hopefully the leaders of each municipality and the county will start investing in what these groups are talking about, and will start soon. 

— Kansan Editorial Board