For the past year and a half, RDG Planning & Design has been hard at work constructing a new comprehensive plan for Shawnee, a document that will serve as a guide to the city's goals moving forward.

For the past year and a half, RDG Planning & Design has been hard at work constructing a new comprehensive plan for Shawnee, a document that will serve as a guide to the city's goals moving forward.

City Planner Rebecca Blaine said the planning department will refer to and strive to align with this living document as it makes decisions about projects and permitting throughout the city.

Blaine said the city will need to assess and adjust the plan regularly as goals evolve and issues arise.

Some of the recommended actions in the plan 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.

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 2018 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 said dozens of residents 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 were 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.

The finalized version of the new Comp Plan was approved by Shawnee City Commissioners this month.

The final draft of the Comp Plan 2040 (Dated July 30, 2019) can be found and downloaded at shawneeok.org.