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Clearwater council members get transportation update
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CLEARWATER – Clearwater city council members received an update on a transportation work program Monday during a workshop held at City Hall.

Senior transportation planner Zain Adam provided a roadmap of sorts for the city’s path to creating an efficient roadway mobility plan.

Key points to this plan include the creation of citywide Complete Streets design policy, updating the city’s bicycle and pedestrian master plan and the acquisition of Bicycle Friendly Community certification.

• Complete Streets update

A Complete Streets approach to roadway design focuses on safe access for all users, including pedestrians, motorists, cyclist and mass transit.

In March, the city was awarded a grant from Forward Pinellas to develop a Complete Streets design for Drew Street. Should the city move forward with the grant, the project will be funded with $50,000 from Forward Pinellas and a $50,000 funding match from the city and would go only toward developing a conceptual plan for the street.

The project will serve as a pilot program as city planners work to develop a citywide Complete Streets plan. Objectives of that plan include:

• Adopt a Complete Streets Policy for the City of Clearwater

• Build stakeholders’ consensus (internally and externally) on the elements of Complete Streets

• Develop a framework for projects prioritization and delivery process

• Adopt Complete Streets design guidelines for the city of Clearwater

• Provide an implementation action plan

The project start date is expected to be this summer.

• Bicycle and pedestrian master plan

City planners have already started work necessary to update the city’s bicycle and pedestrian master plan, known as Shifting Gears.

Included in that update will be the development of a bike and pedestrian facilities inventory system and a projects status list. In addition, city planners are working to redefine the vision, goals and objectives of the plan, which was first implemented more than 10 years ago in 2006.

• Bicycle friendly designation

City council members have in the past asked staff to research the necessary steps to earning a Bicycle Friendly Community designation from The League of American Bicyclists. This designation is based on how well a city is providing safe accommodations for cyclers and how well it encourages recreational cycling.

According to Adam, although the city has a strong system of recreational trails, the city scores poorly in assessment due to limited bicycle facilities and low ridership rates.

Adam also said that the city’s Complete Streets plan and the biking and pedestrian master plan update will address issues needed to earn the bicycle friendly designation. Among those issues are:

• Assessing the effectiveness of the Shifting Gears implementation plan

• Establishing a Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Group

• Developing a biking facilities inventory system, a GIS-based system

• Developing an active projects status list to track all related projects (proposed, approved, under construction/maintenance, and completed

• Developing a framework for projects prioritizations with robust evaluation methodology and fair selection criteria that considers

• Developing performance measure metrics 

Logan Mosby is editor of the Clearwater Beacon. She can be reached at 727-397-5563, ext. 304, or by email at lmosby@TBNweekly.com.
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Phone: (727) 397-5563
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