DUNEDIN — The more people who are persuaded to use forms of transportation other than their cars, the easier it will be for people who want to use their cars.
That comment was among several made by City Commissioner Jeff Gow, who also is a board member of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, leading up to the commission’s approval Jan. 20 of a multi-modal transportation plan.
"So even for those car lovers, this is a wonderful plan," Gow said.
The plan, he said, has the opportunity to transform the community's forward thinking.
"I really asked all of staff to really look through the lens of a bicyclist," Gow said.
The plan seeks to improve and strengthen the city’s transportation network for all modes of transportation, the document says. It builds on previous planning efforts and initiatives for transportation and land use. It outlines specific transportation improvements within the city and provides a toolkit of traffic-calming measures for the city to implement as they see fit, city memos say.
Among other comments commissioners made, Deobrah Kynes said she visits the Boxcar, a small café off the Pinellas Trail downtown frequently.
Coming from the parking lot and heading west to cross the Pinellas Trail to get to the Boxcar is difficult, she said.
Kynes suggested that a "people crossing, something fun" be established at the location.
"Just to allow people to know that's a really dense area there … and you see a lot of kids and families and everyone trying to get over to the Boxcar and it gets really congested at that point," she said.
Other commissioner said they liked that idea, noting the congestion in the area.
"It's a wonderful problem to have, but we do have safety issues downtown," Gow said.
Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski suggested that commissioners discuss the idea at an upcoming strategic planning session.
The priority strategies included in the city multimodal transportation master plan are:
• Update citywide programs, plans and procedures.
• Conduct education and initiatives for safer streets.
• Prioritize visibility and safety of pedestrians at intersections and crossings.
• Improve corridor street lighting to increase visibility for pedestrians.
• Maintain an accessible and safe pedestrian network.
• Create and implement a bicycle network that serves all ages and abilities.
• Improve safety and usability of the Pinellas Trail.
• Increase access to micromobility options and connections to transit.
• Continue to increase transit options.
• Expand golf cart education and function.
• Create safer and more vibrant streets that serve multiple modes of transportation.
Corrdior studies, the results of the city's citizen survey, and the outcome of the 2020 City Commission retreat affirmed the direction to develop the Citywide Multimodal Transportation Master Plan.
The city was awarded a state grant of $40,000 to help develop the plan.
Staff along with consultants worked with various agencies local stakeholders and citizens in the development of the plan and presented a draft to the City Commission at a work session June 1 for feedback and direction.
Staff then worked with the consultant to update the plan.