Portage County Bike/Ped Plan: Open house, presentation of final plan document Wednesday

On Wednesday March 19, the final draft of the plan document for the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Project will be presented and discussed. There will also be an open house held that day to allow the public a more informal setting for learning about and commenting on the plan.

In December, a preliminary draft document became available and was reviewed by the project committees. In addition, an open house was held to solicit further comment from the public. A February meeting was scheduled to review the final draft, which included revisions based on feedback from the December discussions. Unfortunately, that February meeting was canceled. The meeting this Wednesday includes the agenda items from that canceled meeting.

The activity on Wednesday March 19 will all take place in Conference Rooms 1 and 2 of the Portage County Annex Building (1462 Strongs Ave). The open house is scheduled from 4-4:30 PM. This will be followed by a joint meeting from 4:30-6:30 PM of the Portage County Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Committee along with the three project committees which have spent the past year guiding the bike/ped planning process: the Urban and Rural Steering Committees and the Technical Committee. Both the open house and the joint meeting are open to the public.

Wednesday’s activities will be led by project consultant Tom Huber of Toole Design. He will be available at the open house, along with P&Z staff, to answer questions. At the joint meeting, he will lead a presentation and discussion about the content of the final draft.

After this discussion, the three bike/ped plan committees will vote on recommending the final plan to the Portage County P&Z Committee. My understanding is that the following week, the Portage County P&Z Committee will meet and vote to recommend the final plan to the county board. After that, the Portage County Board of Supervisors will vote on adopting the final plan at their April meeting.

Approval by the county board would make this bike/ped plan an official planning document for Portage County. The county could then start working to implement recommendations from the plan.

Wednesday’s open house and meeting is an excellent opportunity for Poky Pedalers to learn about the plan recommendations which address conditions in the urban and rural areas throughout the county. It is also the final opportunity to tell project staff about the bicycling and walking improvements you want to see mentioned in the final plan document.

The meeting agenda and plan documents are available in a post on the official Portage County Bike/Ped Plan project website. (Two agenda documents are in an earlier post.) Links to these documents also appear below. (Note that the maps file is large – 48 MB – and the Safe Routes to School appendix is very large – 220 MB.)

  • Agenda documents
      • 3/19/14 meeting agenda and memo listing plan document updates between the February 9 and March 13 versions
      • List of comments made about the November 26 preliminary draft and how each was addressed for the February 9 version of the final draft
      • Minutes from the December meeting
  • Bike/Ped Plan final draft documents
      • Text of bike/ped plan final draft (PDF, 6 MB, about 200 pages)
      • Maps from bike/ped plan final draft (PDF, 48 MB, 16 maps)
      • Safe Routes to School appendix from bike/ped plan final draft – not included in the above (PDF, 220 MB, over 200 pages)
      • Bike/ped facility design toolkit to be inserted at end of Appendix C – not included in the above (PDF, 7MB, 18 pages)

One other topic on the agenda for Wednesday’s joint meeting is to have a discussion about continuing a bike/ped committee beyond the adoption of this plan. A standing county committee focusing on bike/ped issues could facilitate the effort to implement plan recommendations. If any Poky Pedalers have interest in serving on such a committee, Wednesday will provide an excellent opportunity to communicate that interest to project staff.

We are entering the final stretch on the bike/ped plan effort. Wednesday’s events should be enlightening with a great deal of stimulating discussion. I hope you can join us there.

Disclosure: Bob Fisch, Chief Bike Fun Officer of Poky Pedaling Stevens Point, is a member of the Urban Steering Committee for the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Project. Posts about this project appearing on the PPSP website are part of a broader PPSP effort to keep readers informed of bikey news in our area. Nothing posted on the PPSP website should be considered to be official communication from the Portage County Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Project. The official website for this project can be accessed at http://portagecobikepedplan.wordpress.com.

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