The City of Bellingham is seeking public input on draft recommendations to update the City’s Pedestrian Master Plan. Online informational meetings are scheduled for Dec. 1 and Dec. 7, and an Engage Bellingham page dedicated to accepting feedback will be available starting Dec. 1.
This is the second round of community feedback designed to confirm community support of recommended projects identified in the draft plan updates, to confirm that all proposed pedestrian improvements from the first round of public engagement over the summer are included, and to collect feedback around project prioritization of sidewalk and crossing improvement locations.
Bellingham’s initial 2012 Pedestrian Master Plan, now more than 10 years old, identified steps for creating a safe and well-connected network for people of all ages and abilities to walk for enjoyment, exercise and daily transportation. Since developing that plan, many pedestrian improvement projects have been completed, while others remain in the queue for construction, and some projects have been determined to be financially infeasible. The plan, as updated, now includes Urban Growth Areas, addresses unopened rights-of-way as possible connections to the pedestrian network, takes into consideration cost estimates of proposed projects, has updated how projects are prioritized and has recommendations for policy changes.
“After the first round of public engagement this past summer, we are checking back in with the community to make sure we are getting this right,” said Eric Johnston, director of Public Works.
“It is important to make sure community voices are heard and that there is community support as we expand our pedestrian network,” said Johnson. “The pedestrian network is a crucial aspect in making the shift from single-occupancy vehicles to walking, biking, public transit and carpooling. These create a more livable, connected community and ultimately help our community come closer to meeting our climate action goals.”
All community members, including those that live, work and/or frequently visit Bellingham, are invited to provide input on the draft plan updates. Public engagement opportunities include:
- Online open house on Thursday, Dec. 1 from 4 to 6 p.m. Presentation will be at beginning of the meeting followed by a question-and-answer session. The open house will be recorded and posted on the Engage Bellingham Pedestrian Plan Development Phase project page.
- Attend “office hours” Wednesday, Dec. 7 from noon to 1 p.m. and 4 to 5 p.m. on Zoom. People are encouraged to join the Zoom meeting during these open time slots to ask questions about the draft plan updates to City staff and the consultant team. If you are unable to attend during either time slot, please contact Chris Comeau (email@example.com) to arrange another time on Dec. 7.
- Engage Bellingham Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan Updates project page, available starting Dec. 1. The page will include a story map of draft Pedestrian Master Plan updates with an embedded survey.
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans are both being updated. Following this second round of public engagement for the Pedestrian Master Plan, final plan updates will be drafted for consideration and adoption by City Council. After the first of the year, the City will begin the first round of public engagement for updating the 2014 Bicycle Master Plan.