Wednesday, January 26, 2011

At City Council meeting tonight: Nevada County Pedestrian Improvement Plan

Thanks to KNCO News, I learned that tonight's Nevada City City Council meeting will include "a presentation of the Nevada County Pedestrian Master Plan"; but as a pedestrian who provided input, I noticed it didn't reflect my concerns.

I found the Plan on the Nevada County Transportation Commission site; there's a draft(pdf) and (pdf) an appendix of Aug 2010 workshops.

As a regular walker, I suspect those involved with this report were not. It turns out they're recommending mini-construction-projects galore, but in the ~80pp report about an area that can get hot as blazes in summer, there's not a word about shade; and the only mention of trees was a note on a case of sidewalk damage.

So I moved on to the appendix, to see the outcome of the workshops. In it were results of a survey, "What are the issues in Nevada County [that discourage pedestrians]", that helpfully listed the (only) issues respondents could choose from, which did not include "not enough shade" or "gaps in nighttime street light coverage", but did include "I would walk more if the weather were better".

(IMO the whole idea of a workshop where you have to show up seems woefully outdated; I wonder if the Knight Foundation could come up with a "best practices" process for gathering & recording citizen input (and critiques) via the web, which is far more convenient for most.)

The report provided a map of pedestrian-car collisions, which I'd provide for you here, only it wasn't useful - they didn't use something scale-friendly like Google Maps or equivalent, so the "X marks the spot" marks pretty much blanket town, I couldn't see *where* in town the accidents occurred. And in the reports of pedestrian behavior during the accident, it would have helped if a distinction had been made between the victim's "walking in road/on shoulder" where a sidewalk exists, vs. doing so when there's no alternative.

I do recall having provided input for this plan last year, and recommending the planners use SeeClickFix - ah, here's the post: NevCo Transportation Commission, meet SeeClickFix - Pedestrian Improvement Study Funded for County. I wonder what happened to the planners' SurveyMonkey results, of a survey which was more open-ended, & which I'm 90% sure I contributed to; perhaps I overlooked these results, but I don't see them mentioned in the current report or appendix. The word "survey" only occurs once in the report, on p. 36:
"The walking audits included conducting visual surveys to observe physical characteristics, examining the connectivity and continuity of the area’s surrounding pedestrian network, and debriefing with City/Town staff to discuss observations and recommendations."
At this point it's likely too late to influence the plan; according to the timeline and KNCO story, tonight's city council meeting has the presentation *of* the master plan, not a presentation *on* it.
[Jan 31 update: the NCTC site currently says "Comments received are being incorporated into the final plan by the consultant, and the final plan will be presented for adoption on March 16th at the NCTC meeting."]

It was prepared for the Nevada County Transportation Commission by:
Fehr and Peers Transportation Consultants
2990 Lava Ridge Court, Suite 200
Roseville CA 95661
...and is dated November 2010.
"A Project Advisory Committee (PAC) consisting of representatives from each of Nevada County’s jurisdictions was consulted regularly throughout the Plan’s development. Members included:
• Mike Woodman (NCTC)
• Shannon Culbertson (Caltrans)
• Steven Castleberry (Nevada County)
• Bjorn Jones (City of Grass Valley)
• Bill Falconi (City of Nevada City)
• Becky Bucar (Town of Truckee)
• Ray Bryars (Live Healthy Nevada County)"


Anna Haynes said...

A correction re my criticism of the collision maps - on reviewing the report PDF (which is presumably the same version I saw&blogged here), I now see there are blowups of downtown Grass Valley and Nevada City, over to the right of the wider-area maps that had obscured the accident locations. And on the blowups, these locations are much clearer.

Also notable: the only spot (that I noticed; as you can see, this is an important caveat) with more than one collision was by the Sacramento St. Chevron station. Having come close to hitting someone there myself, I'm not surprised.
(Recommendation: if you're jaywalking on a rainy night while dressed in black, try to look both ways.)

Anna Haynes said...

FYI, it might still not be too late to comment, at least unofficially - I've been informed that concerns I raised in an email last week *will* be incorporated into the final report.