Chandler seeks input on transportation plan - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Chandler seeks input on transportation plan

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Posted: Monday, November 30, 2009 10:58 am | Updated: 12:32 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Jack Sellers: For the past two years, the city has also been updating its Transportation Master Plan with many of the Next Twenty goals in mind. Now, we are seeking public comment on a draft of the plan’s final report.

In 2007, Chandler commissioned a report called the Next Twenty to chart a new path for the city as it approached residential build-out and beyond. The result was a comprehensive plan that set many goals for Chandler and its people. One of those goals was to be the “most connected city.”

The purpose of this objective is to distinguish Chandler as a city friendly to alternative modes of transportation by focusing on public transit, bicycling, walking and other alternatives to driving. Some of the steps considered in the Next Twenty report included connectivity of open spaces like parks, major shopping venues, civic spaces and the downtown. It also encouraged design of future projects that encourage people to walk outdoors and to connect community-oriented spaces with bikeway systems. Finally, it aims to position Chandler for future light rail extensions and to create an urban shuttle system.

For the past two years, the city has also been updating its Transportation Master Plan with many of the Next Twenty goals in mind. Now, we are seeking public comment on a draft of the plan’s final report. A public meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursdayin the City Council chambers. If you have yet to visit the chambers, they are located on the second floor of Chandler’s Downtown Library at 22 South Delaware Street.

The Transportation Master Plan guides development and implementation of future transportation infrastructure throughout Chandler. It was last updated in 2001. As a past chairman of the city’s Transportation Commission before coming on to the City Council, I am excited about this plan because it is much more comprehensive than prior plans. This update incorporates transit, bicycle and pedestrian plans that previously were updated separately.

This plan will go a long way toward our efforts to reduce congestion, conserve resources and simply make Chandler a better place to live and work. It is vital that we come up with a plan that serves our community well over the next several years, if not decades.

This has been a very widespread and inclusive process. The draft plan was developed following input from a prior public meeting, stakeholder meetings, citizen surveys, planners, consultants and the Chandler Transportation Commission. I encourage you to join me in meeting with city officials to discuss the plan’s recommendations Thursday. You will see plans for future roadway, bicycle, pedestrian and transit improvements, as well as those topics related to the city’s transportation system. We are also looking for your input on projections used to forecast future service levels and infrastructure needs.

Your comments from the meeting will be used to finalize the plan that will go to the Transportation Commission for approval at its December 17 meeting. The plan will then head to the City Council for approval early next year.

An overview of the draft plan is available on the City’s Web site at www.chandleraz.gov. If you cannot attend the meeting, hopefully you can review it online and send comments on the overview to Segovia@pbworld.com.

Jack Sellers is a member of the Chandler City Council.

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