A city transportation system plan update, which began its percolation period almost three years ago, is in the home stretch.
Public Works Department officials who are shepherding the plan made their 14th visit to the City Council on Thursday, discussing three recently produced technical memos and updating councilors on timelines and next steps in the plan.
The next big step is a 5 p.m. Wednesday open house at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. When asked what would be the best way for members of the public to approach the meeting, Public Works Director Mary Steckel said “look at tech memo 17 and be prepared with questions.”
Tech memo 17 deals with transportation solutions for motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. The other two memos that the city is looking for comment on are tech memo 16, which deals with reclassification of city streets and tech memo 18, which covers transit solutions. See this story online for PDFs of the tech memos.
Councilors heard a 25-minute presentation Thursday from project manager Adam Steele and offered their comments and questions for an additional 30 minutes. It quickly became clear that the council wants to spend more time with the plan, and another work session will be scheduled at a date to be determined.
Key questions councilors put forward included:
• Why are some multiuse paths the responsibility of Public Works and others supervised by Parks and Recreation?
• What sort of structure should be put in place to carry the transportation work forward once the TSP update is adopted?
• What sort of housing and growth assumptions did the project planners use?
• Can the project solutions be categorized in terms of short-term and long-term solutions?
A few questions later Mayor Biff Traber noted that the agenda item already had run 10 minutes over its suggested 30-minute length “and we’re barely getting started.”
Ward 5 Councilor Charlyn Ellis suggested that answers for some of the questions could be answered later. “Otherwise,” she said, “we could go down a rabbit hole.”
The council tentatively is scheduled to adopt the plan this fall.