The results of a local “human-powered” transportation survey was highlighted at Defiance City Council’s meeting Tuesday evening.
Council also took action on three legislative items, including one on an amended consent decree concerning a long-standing EPA mandate (see related story on page A1).
Results of the aforementioned survey — conducted from June 7-July 3 by Maumee Valley Planning Organization (MVPO) — were reviewed by the agency’s Emma Kirkpatrick. (MVPO is a regional planning development organization based in Defiance that covers the counties of Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Paulding and Williams.)
The survey will be used by MVPO to put together an “active transportation plan” later this year that will identify possible projects — perhaps utilizing grant funds — in the future. Once created, the plan will be presented to Defiance County commissioners for adoption, she said, with a public comment period as well.
“I think that it’s good that you’re doing this,” said At-large Councilman Joe Eureste.
“We try really hard to get public input because it’s really important,” said Kirkpatrick. “We do want to hear from the public.”
Kirkpatrick’s presentation was similar to ones MVPO made during public meetings in Hicksville on July 30 and at Defiance Public Library on Aug. 1.
The presentation included a review of an active transportation survey taken by MVPO from June 7-July 3 concerning the aforementioned areas. Responses totaled 502, with 335 of them (71.9%) from within Defiance.
Respondents identified “sidewalks where there are none” as their preferred answer to a question concerning what improvements would make a person more likely to walk or bicycle more. Other popular answers were “better maintained sidewalks,” “designated bike lanes” and “signed bicycle routes.”
Nature and paved trails were noted as the most popular types of preferred trails. Off-road paths, shared used paths and water trails followed somewhat distantly.
As for preferring walking options now, sidewalks were the top response in the survey followed by off-road/trails. Both were well ahead of the third choice (on-road routes). Independence Dam State Park and the city’s reservoir property were the top choices for popular walking venues.
On-road was the preferred option for bicycling followed closely by sidewalks and off-road/trails.
In other non-legislative business Tuesday:
• council passed a motion approving the appointment of Julie Fitzenrider to replace Leonard Myers on the city’s civil service commission.
• Eureste asked Mayor Mike McCann about the possibility of reviewing the city’s special zoning overlay districts (which, for example, place restrictions on certain building architecture). McCann said the administration would prefer to await the fate of a proposed charter amendment on the November ballot that would combine the city planning and zoning boards. He believes combining the two will necessitate a zoning code rewrite.
• McCann indicated that his administration is considering the possibility of making available for sale a student workbook for the 225th anniversary of Fort Defiance this year. The booklet already has been distributed to county schools. .
• Law Director Sean O’Donnell informed council that a committee concerning the 1918 school building’s future was scheduled to meet this morning
• McCann announced that a ribbon cutting will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the reservoir property’s new nature trail. The event will take place in the Kibble Road parking lot.
• At-large Councilman Jill Krutsch noted the upcoming “performance series” hosted by the Defiance Community Cultural Council at the Stroede Center for the Arts, 319 Wayne Ave. Events will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
• Mayor Mike McCann explained that Fort Defiance will be the subject of a presentation (Town and Gown) Thursday at Defiance College’s Schomburg Auditorium.
• At-large Councilman Steve Waxler inquired about the condition of a property at 1031 Wilhelm St. McCann said he would follow up on the matter.
• Ward 3 Councilman Dave Plant thanked the administration and First Energy for helping install a new electric pole on East River Road.
• met in executive session to discuss the appointment of a public official.