The City Commission has approved a Connectivity Plan, which is expected to be a valuable tool when budgeting connectivity projects that will also help guide decisions for capital improvement projects.
The Commission unanimously adopted the plan at its meeting Monday.
Connectivity is the measurement of a system of streets, sidewalks, bike lanes, paths, and trails with multiple routes and connections serving the same origins and destinations.
“An interconnected network can accommodate more travel demand than a roadway network with limited connectivity,” Planning and Community Development Director Amanda Askew said in a staff report to the City Commission. “This helps to ensure the safety of pedestrians, supports local land uses, economies, natural environments, and the overall equity of the community. “
While the City’s recently adopted Parks Master Plan identifies opportunities for improvements of existing paths and areas where connections to parks are needed, the Connectivity Plan further identifies missing connections to parks, neighborhoods, schools, commercial corridors, and other areas.
“While the City has made many improvements (multi-use paths, enhanced crosswalks, intersection improvements, etc.), the Connectivity Plan will provide a list of future improvements and projected costs,” Askew said in the report.
The City publicized the Connectivity planning project and solicited public input, and staff presented the draft Connectivity Plan at a Commission workshop on Jan. 11. As a result of City Commission members’ input, staff then provided a description of how much impervious area will be added at each identified opportunity; included the projected budget for impervious and pervious surfaces at each identified opportunity; added the East Coast Greenway and Beach Avenue to the plan; and changed the name from “River Branch” to a more generic term, among other enhancements to the draft plan.
A community house open house was held on Feb. 2 in the Commission Chamber to receive public input. Also, staff presented the Connectivity Plan at a Town Hall meeting on April 10 at the Gail Baker Community Center.
A brief overview was presented at the April 26 Commission meeting and as a result information about the City’s annual Tour de Parks bicycle event was incorporated into the plan.
The plan is published at www.coab.us/connectivity.