Paradise Valley begins formal pathways master plan process

Paradise Valley residents have gathered over the last few weeks to help town staff better understand the wants and needs of multi-modal enthusiasts within town. (Submitted photo)

Paradise Valley residents have gathered over the last few weeks to help town staff better understand the wants and needs of multi-modal enthusiasts within town. (Submitted photo)

Paradise Valley town officials are in the midst of gathering data to better understand resident expectations of how they would like to get around town without motorized accommodations.

Paradise Valley Town Council authorize a contract with Coffman Studio at a rate of $143,695.02 for the development of a bicycle and pedestrian master plan.

The motion carried 5-1, with Council member Maria Syms dissenting, and Mayor Michael Collins absent.

“We are still in the early part of the phases — this is going to be a nine-month process,” said Paradise Valley Senior Planner Paul Michaud in an Aug. 16 phone interview. “We are collecting information, but we have had a pretty good response.”

Fueled by the General Plan, Mr. Michaud, who is spearheading the master plan effort, says the idea is to create a resident-driven diagram of how bicycle and pedestrian traffic can better circulate the municipality.
Another big piece of the still-in-development master plan is how can the municipality offer connectivity to already established trailhead pathways in neighboring communities, Mr. Michaud says.

“We need to understand where we are today and where does this community want to go,” he said noting that close to 200 residents have responded to a citizen survey.

“At the end of the day this will be an addendum to our General Plan. It is really the public that is going to tell us what we need to do.”

The Town of Paradise Valley hosted two resident-input events — a community bike ride on Aug. 13 and a Town Hall meeting on Aug. 16 — to better understand the behaviors of local multi-modal enthusiasts.
Paradise Valley resident Chris Thompson says he is happy to participate in the master plan process.

“I’m an avid athlete, and I’m a triathalon guy,” he said. “I live here. I believe that you have to be a participant in the way your community develops, you can’t just expect someone else to figure it out for you and then complain when it doesn’t work out the way you want.”

Mr. Thompson says at first blush he would like to see the municipality improve accessibility to the picturesque landscape that is the Town of Paradise Valley.

“I’ve got self interest in biking and running, and using the beautiful environment for which we moved here, and I’d like to make sure that it’s accessible and well thought out,” he said.

“I’ve lived in Europe, I’ve lived in China, I’ve lived all around the world so I’ve seen a lot and I think I can offer some suggestions that will make this a very livable, more enjoyable community.”

Mr. Thompson says he is looking to take small thoughts a long way as the master plan process unfolds.

“They’re in information gathering mode,” he said of the municipal process. “You don’t throw out baby ideas. You throw out baby ideas and then coddle them until the point when you then decide if they can become adults.”

The Town of Paradise Valley is expected to host an open house on the initial findings of the information-gathering process Wednesday, Sept. 14, according to Mr. Michaud.

“We will go over the initial information that we have collected,” he said noting town staff is hoping to provide a full plan to the local governing body in April 2017.

Editor’s note: Reporter Melissa Fittro contributed to this article

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.