08/12/13 — City developing plans for pedestrians, cycling paths

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City developing plans for pedestrians, cycling paths

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on August 12, 2013 1:46 PM

The Goldsboro Parks and Recreation Department, in conjunction with the city Planning Department, is in the beginning phases of developing a comprehensive master plan for pedestrian and cycling transportation in Goldsboro.

The process to develop the plan will take place over the winter and include public input sessions as well as meetings with specific groups who have expressed interest in the projects.

"We're drafting a proposal for what we want that will go out for advertisement at the end of the month," said Parks and Recreation Director Scott Barnard.

The Planning Department will advertise an open submission for two weeks to allow firms to submit proposals for how they would go about collecting and compiling the public input for the study.

After the proposals are in they will be reviewed to see which proposals fall in line with the city's expectations.

Of the proposals which meet the city qualifications the Goldsboro Transportation Advisory Commission will whittle the submissions down to a short list of preferred firms, said Jennifer Collins, senior planner with the city Planning Department.

"After we choose the preferred firms we'll talk price and then bring our recommendation to council for approval," said Barnard.

The planning process will be funded by the North Carolina Department of Transportation through the city Planning Department.

While the city already recognizes the need for pedestrian and cycle transportation in the city transportation plan this process will seek to answer what that those projects would look like on a specific level as well as prioritizing which aspects are most important to the people of Goldsboro, said Ms. Collins.

The plan will allow the city to develop "shovel ready" projects which are more likely to be chosen during grant application processes, said Barnard.

"You don't want a plan that just sits on the shelf," said Ms. Collins. "Projects get prioritized based on the more support the project has. If multiple plans show a need for it, it gets more points."

Another aspect that will be involved in the master plan process is a magnified look at how the city greenway planning will be carried out such as where the public wants the greenways to go and which trails are most important to them, said Barnard.

"We don't know what that would look like yet," said Barnard. "Will we add bike lanes to all new roads? All resurfacing projects? Will it be added to the edge of the existing street or be separated by a curb and gutter?"

Questions will also arise in the study as to which areas are the highest priority for sidewalks in addition to bike lanes and greenway improvements.