Paradise Valley bicycle master plan carries on municipal process

Paradise Valley Town Hall is at 6401 E. Lincoln Drive in the Town of Paradise Valley. (File photo)

Paradise Valley planning officials returned to the administrative side of the much-discussed bicycle and pedestrian master plan to take another look at the verbiage to be included.

The draft master plan was reviewed in February and minor edits have been made in the months since, town officials say.

The Planning Commission went over the goals, policies and implementation measures within the plan during a Sept. 19 study session at Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive.

In an effort to provide enjoyable bicycle and pedestrian paths for residents, while sufficing the needs of recreational tourists and avid athletes simultaneously, town officials have been immersed in the beginning stages of a master plan.

In August 2016, Paradise Valley Town Council authorized a contract with Coffman Studio at a rate of $143,695.02 for the development of a bicycle and pedestrian master plan.

On June 8, Mayor Michael Collins presented an abridged version of the proposed bicycle and pedestrian master plan devising a new approach to avid cycling within town limits.

On June 22, Paradise Valley Town Council approved its Statement of Direction regarding the plan with a 6-1 vote at its June 22 council meeting, sending the plan to Planning Commission for further evaluation. Paradise Valley Councilman Paul Dembow was the lone dissenter.

Next, Planning Commission is expected to ask town council to amend its Statement of Direction to better reflect proposed deviations to the route map.

Having been discussed for the past three months, the Planning Commission mostly listened to Senior Planner Paul Michaud read-through the changes and additions made that will define bicycle and pedestrian planning for the town.

No action was taken regarding the plan, and the conversation yielded few comments from the Planning Commission except asking for specific details on how to mitigate the impact of bicyclists within the municipality.

“It’s through traffic calming, through some of these various methods — there are various ways you can minimize it,” Mr. Michaud explained, noting the town’s thoroughfares are public streets.

The non-motorized mobility implementation program details:

  • Implementing the construction and maintenance of the town’s non-motorized circulation facilities for the benefit for the residents;
  • Design a high-quality design of roadway, bicycle and pedestrian network … that minimizes adverse impacts to the neighborhood through the use of calming and control techniques, intersection enhancements, traffic counts and hardscaping and landscaping;
  • Preserve existing right-of-way except when necessary to implement maps and standards adopted by the town.

“I think the section itself does address some things, which could be used to address the negative impacts, traffic calming and control,” Town Attorney Andrew Miller said.

“We talked about modifying some of the intersections in certain ways to slow traffic down or stop some of the speeding — enforcement I think is implied in this same section as well. So I think there are some things in here, which is in the General Plan, which then would lead to different kinds if implementations.”

Goals listed in the draft plan include: a non-motorized circulation system; operations and management program for the non-motorized circulation system; provide an integrated pedestrian system; and to provide an integrated bicycle system.

Each goal listed its corresponding policies, such as providing maintenance, enforcement and education under the operations and management program.

The bicycle and pedestrian master plan will ultimately be proposed as a minor amendment to the General Plan.

The Town Council is expected to re-evaluate the Statement of Direction with the proposed deviations at an Oct. 12 meeting, Senior Planner Paul Michaud said at the study session. It was originally scheduled for Sept. 28.

After that, the plan is scheduled to return to Planning Commission on Oct. 17; and a citizen review will be scheduled after that, prior to action being taken.

With the holidays coming up, Mr. Michaud says he is eying pushing the draft plan back.

“The plan was to get the draft plan — which includes everything — done by Oct. 27, but that’s a pretty tight turnaround,” Mr. Michaud said. “With holidays approaching it gets tricky to get second meetings in November and December.”

Mr. Michaud says depending on what happens at town council, it might be difficult to complete the changes made to the plan in a short period of time before presenting the edits to Planning Commission. The plan could likely return to Planning Commission and Town Council in the early months of 2018, he said.

In addition to changes made to the timeline, Mr. Michaud said town officials are working on mitigating the complaints from residents on Hummingbird Lane sooner than later.

“Regarding Hummingbird Lane neighborhood, it’s with the town council and town manager right now. The town manager would like to get a little more direction from the Commission, and then he needs to get authority from council,” Mr. Michaud explained to a questioning resident.

“They’ll be hiring a separate consultant — it has to be an engineered solution — to work with the residents on that street to go through the process. My guess is it won’t be after this project is adopted, it will be something sooner.”

News Services Editor Melissa Fittro can be reached by e-mail at mfittro@newszap.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MelissaFittro

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