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10.08.2012

WALKABLE AND BIKE FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES

The recent conversation regarding the City of Gainesville, the recipient of a bronze award as a 'Walk Friendly Community,' stirred a discussion among Green Readers.  Below is a recap of proposed projects that would be funded through the extension of the Blueprint 2000 sales tax money.  If the community is committed to Tallahassee as a Walk/Bike Friendly space, then it is necessary to set the priorities to do so. 

Blueprint 2000 overview by TaMaryn Waters, Democrat staff writer 



Blueprint extension?



Voters in 2000 agreed to extend the tax that would have otherwise expired in 2004. That extension takes the penny sales tax through 2019 and Leon County and City of Tallahassee officials are in the midst of determining projects that would be funded by a future voter-approved extension.

Leon county’s proposed projects:

• Northeast connector corridor. Northern portion of the Meridian Road Trail will connect to future Orchard Pond Road. Widens Bannerman Road to four lanes and adds a multi-use path. Estimated cost: $36.2 million.
• Lake Jackson enhancements. Designed to improve lake water quality. Adds bike and pedestrian interconnections and links existing trails to county and state parks. Also provides sewer access within Harbinwood subdivision to address nearly 400 septic systems. Estimated cost: $30 million.
• Northwest connector corridor. Fixes flooding issues along Tharpe Street. Would widen Tharpe and add pedestrian and bike connections north of Capital Circle Northwest to the Talquin State Forest and the new Fred George Greenway. Also includes developing Park Place Recreational area by building two ball fields.Estimated cost: $56.9 million.
• Westside student-corridor enhancement and flood relief. Links Capital Circle corridor to the urban core. Widens Highway 20 from Capital Circle Northwest to Appleyard Drive. Project relieves storm-water runoff affecting Tallahassee Community College. Construction of the TCC/FSU/FAMU Connector trail links all three schools to Innovation Park. Estimated $29 million.
• Pine Flats Trail (expansion of lower Cascades). Includes unpaved trail for bikers and pedestrians from the existing Cascades Trail system to the St. Marks and National Forest trails. Also, includes restoration of the 8-Mile Pond to improve storm-water flow and reduces pollution to the aquifer at Ames Sink.Estimated: $17 million.
• Southside Gateway Enrichment. Widens Woodville Highway to four lanes from Capital Circle to Gaile Avenue. Adds landscaped medians and roadsides along Crawfordville Highway and adds green space for storm-water ponds and bike connections along Ross Road. Estimated cost: $29.7 million.
• Lake Lafeyette and St. Marks regional linear park. Connects more than 7,200 acres of recreational land east of Capital Circle Southeast with trails and boardwalks. Also includes additional ball fields at Tom Brown Park. Estimated cost: $18.3 million.
• Market District Activity Center Connectivity. Includes infrastructure projects at the intersections of I-10, Thomasville Road and Capital Circle Northeast. Overall project will be a city/county effort. The county would build a north-south mutli-use trail connecting Timberlane Road to Maclay Gardens State Park.Estimated cost: $1.6 million.
• Centerville Trace Water Resources. Central sewer access to Centerville Trace subdivision area, which includes 167 lots in northeast Tallahassee to improve water quality in area and Dove Pond.— Estimated cost: $5 million.
• Woodville Water Quality. Conduct a basin flood study, provide central sewer service west of Woodville Advanced Wastewater Treatment Service. Goal is to reduce pollution from septic-tank discharge to the ground water and Wakulla Springs. Estimated cost: $59.2 million.
• More sidewalks and mobility improvements. Goal is to make walking throughout the community safer and more inviting. Estimated cost: $46.9 million.
• Intersection and safety improvements. Estimated cost: $5.8 million.
• Road resurfacing. Maintenance money will be depleted by 2014 but the county’s infrastructure needs will continue. Estimated cost: $156.5 million.
• Facility improvements. Facilities improvements over the next 20 years to county buildings, such as libraries, community centers, Public Safety Complex and others.Estimated cost: $42 million.
• Private dirt road paving programs. County has identified 195 miles of unpaved dirt roads. This project would develop a program to provide money towards paving private roads, now done by developers.Estimated cost: $52 million.

City of Tallahassee’s proposed project programs:

• Complete Downtown. Major construction changes on Gaines Street and Cascades Park compliment the 18-hour downtown vision in the Comprehensive Plan. Includes a convention center, an outdoor pedestrian mall, storm-water conveyance improvements and a Lake Bradford Gateway.
• Sidewalks, bikeways and greenways. Implementing the Greenways Master Plan, building out the bike-route system, completing the sidewalk network and implementing the Wayfinding Plan.
• Take StarMetro to the next level. Downtown People Mover, redevelopment of the C.K. Steele Plaza, expand the fleet, add more superstops and build a regional transfer station.
• Airport development. Complete Capital Circle Southwest by widening from Crawfordville Highway to State Road 20, a Tier 1 project for current Blueprint 2000 funding list.
• Build multi-generational, multi-purpose community centers. Large, regional community centers at key locations with access to transportation. Two facilities are proposed; one serving the north side and and another serving the south side.
• Create special urban places. The City Commission is making “placemaking” a top priority for Midtown, the Market District and the Monroe-Adams Corridor. Each district has expensive, long-term infrastructure needs.

The city hasn’t released assigned estimated costs for proposed projects. City commissioners plan to make final recommendations on the city’s list on Oct. 10.
Source: City of Tallahassee and Leon County.
Meeting dates for Sales Tax Extension committee:
• Oct. 11
• Oct. 25
• Nov. 15, which is the next open house at 6 p.m., Main Branch Library, 200 Park Ave.
• Dec. 13
• Jan. 24
• Feb. 28
• March 28; open house.
• April 25
• May 23

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