Davenport's prospective transportation plan is not intended to be about streets, but rather about moving people throughout the city using whatever method is available.
RDG Planning and Design and Alta Planning and Design have been hired to sculpt the city's new multi-modal transportation plan, building off the city's previous plan, Davenport in Motion, and putting more emphasis on connectivity for those who don't necessarily want to drive to their intended location.
Thursday marked Davenport GO's community kickoff meeting where interested residents and users of the current system provided feedback and ideas for what they wanted to see.
"It's very important for cities that are growing and great, vibrant cities," Alderman Kyle Gripp, at large said. "As you travel across the county, the really great ones have robust multi-modal transportation systems where you can walk out of your house and hotel and go to work in many different ways, whether you want to walk there, bike there or drive there."
As part of the public participation process, an interactive website was launched in May so that users could provide input as to how they use the current transportation network, their desired uses and barriers inhibiting their travel routes. Surveys also are available to contribute what routes and roads users feel safe using.
Thus far, more than 300 people have provided input, but Marty Shukert, a consultant with RDG, said the company would like about 1,000 responses so a plan can be built with options reflective of the variety of user preferences in the city.
During Thursday's kickoff, a few of the attendees raised questions about implementing a bike network in areas where some streets have the feel of a highway, which counteracts the intent of providing comfort and safety.
Paul Wojciechowski, a planner with Alta, said a level of stress analysis would be completed next month that maps out speed, volume and separation of the roadway.
"When we start building a network, our goal in a low stress network is to look at design treatments that are going to lower that level of stress so the higher the speeds, the greater the separation," Wojciechowski said. "Sometimes you don't have the space. In that choice, we may take a lower speed, lower volume route."
Shukert said part of the plan also was to help determine "the design speed" or how fast the city would like traffic to move and if need be, implement road allocations or traffic calming to make streets more pedestrian friendly.
RDG consultant Cory Scott said information gathered from public input, focus groups and information sessions would be used along with other quantitative and qualitative data in order to create a big picture approach to what a system would look like. That information will be presented in August.
Scott said he hoped to get early results by October to help with the budgeting process, but greater details likely wouldn't be available until November and December.
An open house is tentatively being planned for January with the approval process beginning in February, but until then, Shukert pushed the importance of public participation so that the system can be built based upon the wants of the community.
"Like anybody trying to attract customers, we are very interested in the user experience," Shukert said.