Weekly Update

Upcoming Events

Thursday 10/31 7:30-9:00AM
Join Mayor Nabours and I on Flag Mornings. 93.5FM/930AM and streaming at http://www.Country935.com

Monday 11/4 4:00PM
I’ll be on the Joe Harting Show
105.1 FM

Regional Plan, Land Use
Thanks to the many people who came out last night to comment on the Regional Plan. The overwhelming majority of comments raised concerns about the plan. Here are some comments I made last night.

I’d like to share two paragraphs from the LAND USE section of the Regional Plan. In my opinion, these two paragraphs really illustrate the plans overall push, compact development and the diminished use of the automobile.

Page IX-60
“Flagstaff patterns of growth have been primarily larger subdivisions of single family houses. This form of development forces residents to travel by automobile for daily needs, and makes it difficult for them to stay within the same neighborhood when they need a different type or size of housing. This plan discourages development of this type and promotes a preferred pattern of development for new neighborhoods”

Obviously, the “preferred pattern” according to the plan is compact development. Compact development is mentioned in one form or another 10 times on page IX-5 alone and is sprinkled throughout the plan. Now let me state for the record once again, I have no problem with compact development. There are definitely good applications and situations where this type of development makes sense. But focusing primarily on compact development will permanently change the character of Flagstaff to a more dense urban environment as well as many other unintended consequences. The plan often mentions its goal is to preserve Flagstaff’s character. How does promoting dense, urban, compact development preserve our current character?

The second paragraph I’d like to hi-light.
On Page IX-5, the plan states,
“Public and private traffic engineers can design for pedestrian and bicyclist safety and experience first, automobile driver experience second, transit options next, and auto capacity and speed last. This will be a huge paradigm shift from the current automobile focus”

I fully encourage and support expanding walkability, biking and alternative modes of transportation. But we know our community is going to grow and we know that automobile will be the primary mode of transportation. 83% of people currently use their personal automobile to get to work. The plan projects that 80% of people will use their personal automobile in 2030. Let me repeat, I am glad to see an increased effort towards walkability, biking and other modes of transportation. But why are we planning for “auto capacity” last? Shouldn’t the primary mode of transportation for the majority of our citizens come first?

I acknowledge that there are many good aspects to this plan. But we need to make sure that this plan balances idealism with reality. We need to make sure that we are not short changing some of the most important aspects of planning such as the need for a multitude of housing and proper planning for our streets. In my opinion and the opinion of many citizens, the current draft plan needs a lot of work in order to attain balance and to adequately plan for our future.

One thought on “Weekly Update

  1. Dear Jeff,

    1. thank you for your job, job of a real representative of people.

    2. If this plan would be made with the participation of literate urban planing architect he would explain::
    suburbs made not from a good life, but because of problems of our cities : congestion, traffics, crime, social problems and others..So, people agree to drive 1-2 hour out of all of this.mess. But,,suburb cannot relay on the city for their first hand everyday services, like some recreation, shops, and some other. This is why they exist and work over there. Also — auto is a main way of transportation in such developments, so roads are designed with such purpose.

    For some reason our Flagstaff is a suburb for rich from Phoenix, at least for the use in their free time. Also our NAU is an outlet for those, who would like to combine their study with environment of a small but educated mountain city. Would be this situation continue?

    Our plan of development does not reflect this function. Dense populated city with pollution and with new arriving social problems is a dream of our local Government.(?) And nobody is thinking about major population of this city, enjoying local flora, animals and air. Also, this small future developments, ironically called subdivisions of our hopefully still not a large city, designed with their own services, exactly like in real suburbs with their walking and biking reachable services. Luckily, this may be corrected in life, but parking and roads for automobiles–this is another thing…

    3. I think, that fact, that “this Council has designated more open space than any other in history. Tomorrow night we’ll actually be voting to add another 2,200 acres to the nearly 800 acres already designated as open space”, may assume easy changes and transformation of these spaces for future developments. I hope and would like to be wrong.


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