Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sharron Swanson suggests we request of the Mayor's Office a means to the ends, not just the ends...

As always, it's wonderful to have people contribute to our work even they can't make the meetings. In our last meeting summary we described two of the letters we're been working on:

1 - establishing road construction standards that would consider bike-ped needs

2 - establishing subdivision standards that allow connectivity.

In response, Sharron Swanson wrote the following in an e-mail to me:

I would suggest you that you combine letters 1 and 2 into one letter. I would suggest that you reference in your letter a desire for the city to adopt “Complete Streets” standards that address the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, children, the handicapped, etc. Regarding cul-de-sac’s and “connectivity”, the issue is slightly larger and should be addressed as such. Subdivision standards should be changed to require connectivity—including streets aligned with adjacent properties, elimination of cul-de-sac’s unless needed for environmental design reasons as well as elimination of gated communities. For existing cul-de-sac’s I believe it would be very difficult to create easements for bicycle/pedestrian ways because it would require property acquisition and you would be dealing with owner’s side yards versus rear yards as in your linear park concepts.

Your letters to the Mayor need to be clear and to the point. You need to know exactly how you want the Mayor to respond. Do you want the city to establish a committee to develop the new street standards or subdivision standards? Do you want them to simply pass your ideas along to the Master Plan group? Can work be done concurrently with the Master Plan effort?

Thanks for those helpful thoughts, Sharron. Personally, I'd think we'd want to request an appointed commission or committee to set the standards. I don't know if it can or should be done concurrently with Master Plan effort. Comments?

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