On Tuesday, Shawnee Traffic Commissioners gathered to go over a section of the city's latest draft of the Comprehensive Plan.

On Tuesday, Shawnee Traffic Commissioners gathered to go over a section of the city's latest draft of the Comprehensive Plan.

Board members heard a summarized presentation of the transportation chapter by City Planner Rebecca Blaine.

Some of the recommended actions include acquiring right-of-way for expansion of the arterial system into growth areas; requiring a traffic impact analysis for large-scale projects; and providing a dedicated funding source for arterial and collector development.

Other goals include expanding and approving bike routes along low-volume streets; improving Shawnee's bike-friendliness; removing man-made barriers to bike system, like high-traffic streets like Kickapoo or Harrison — improvements could be made to help with crossing through those areas; and identifying high priority sidewalk segments to implement a strategic plan for the city's pedestrian network.

Expanding transit services is another area of focus in the road map to Shawnee's future.

Finalization of the whole Comp Plan, though running a bit behind schedule, could be ready to be heard by the Planning Board and be up for approval by Shawnee City Commissioners by summer.

Blaine said RDG Planning & Design might have something ready by July at the earliest.

Still new as planning director here, the extra time suits her fine, Blaine said.

“I've only been here since mid-February,” she said.

She said she is trying to make sure that everyone is comfortable with the plan and that changes can be forwarded to RDG for inclusion in the finalized product.

“I am still waiting for three finished final draft chapters from RDG, so I don't want there to be any pressure or rush for this board,” she said. “We are open to suggestions and feedback that you guys would like (to add).”

Chapter four of the plan, titled Transportation, will be the focus of the board's attention in this next few weeks.

Board members will share their comments, suggestions and input at the May Traffic Commission meeting.

The Process

There have been multiple opportunities for residents to share input as the city continues designing a comprehensive plan to guide its growth and development over the next several years.

Through multiple Comprehensive Plan Design workshops the last several months, residents have been able to share input, placing stickers and comments next to ideas or projects they supported or would like to see more of here.

The ideas stemmed from input at the kickoff event in June when about 30 residents took part in a discussion with RDG to brainstorm issues, concerns and opportunities over several topics of interest.

Participants took on major topics of discussion like transportation; parks and recreation; housing; the downtown district; planned use and development; and community appearance.

Those efforts were then used by RDG to develop some unified goals to base a plan around.

RDG's Nick Klimek has said dozens of residents have shared input at each of the workshops and more than 150 completed an online survey.

RDG's Principal-in-Charge Amy Haase said the responses have been helpful.

In August Shawnee Ward 1 City Commissioner Ed Bolt said he was pleased — albeit a little surprised — to see that the downtown district was No. 1 on the list of top priorities, according to a community survey data.

“I know we've personally been (supportive of downtown revitalization) but to know everybody else is, too,” he said. “That made me feel really good; it's very encouraging.“

Blaine said she believed the last comp plan was done at least 15 to 18 years ago.

Watch for updates.