Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bike trails and bike lanes plan

Cities such as Portland, OR and Minneapolis, MN have terrific alternate (especially bicycle) transportation systems. The city governments went out of their way many years ago to plan for what exists in those municipalities now.

Fort Wayne is no where near those other cities as far as infrastructure, but there is a pedestrian and bicycle planning process that has taken place. And a plan that has been produced. That of course is the first step in creating a network of trails and bike lanes that would help to connect the city and county. The Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council is the agency that completed the Bicycle/Pedestrian transportation Plan.

Here is a little snippet about who NIRCC is and what they do (taken from the Public Participation Plan dated May 2007)

The Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council (NIRCC) is the agency
designated by the Governor of the State of Indiana to perform general purpose planning
on a regional basis for Adams, Allen, DeKalb, and Wells Counties. NIRCC functions not
only as the regional development agency, but also as the Intergovernmental Review
Agency for this multi-county area. In addition, NIRCC serves as the Metropolitan
Planning Organization (MPO) for the Fort Wayne-New Haven-Allen County Urbanized

The Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council as the Metropolitan Planning
Organization is charged with performing comprehensive transportation planning in the
Urbanized Area. Under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity
Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) regulations, the metropolitan transportation
planning process must occur in an atmosphere of public involvement and participation.
The regulations state that each “MPO shall develop and use a documented participation
plan that defines a process for providing citizens, affected public agencies,
representatives of public transportation employees, freight shippers, providers of freight
transportation services, private providers of transportation, representatives of users of
public transportation, representatives of users of pedestrian walkways and bicycle
transportation facilities, representatives of the disabled, and other interested parties with
reasonable opportunities to be involved in the metropolitan transportation planning

The public participation plan in its entirety can be viewed here:

It explains, in case you don't want to read the whole thing, how the agency went about coming up with the bicycle/pedestrian map for the future of Fort Wayne.

This map can be viewed here:

The map shows proposed and existing, on and off street trails, sidewalks, bike lanes, curb lanes and shoulder lanes.

Obviously a lot of time, energy, and money went into this plan but from what I can tell by examining it, very little has been implemented. I do not know the reason for that but, it is good to know that there is a plan out there that seems to be quite comprehensive if and when the appropriate agencies decide to implement it.

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