Are curbs, gutters, and sidewalks great for safety or do they subtract from the rural feel of Mapleton? Would streetlights be worth the investment or would they cause light pollution and subtract from the starry skies? Are roads better maintained in wealthier neighborhoods or is it just perceived that way because it’s a brand new developer-installed road?
If you’re reading this, I’m confident you have an opinion about all three questions, just as I’m confident that opinion doesn’t necessarily equal that of your neighbor. City planning is a complicated (and emotional) endeavor in which quite often it’s possible that both sides are right! So, disagree with your neighbor, but still share a hug – this can be a messy business!
Meanwhile, I’ve been on the hunt for helpful information and updates I can provide regarding our roads, highways, and other fun factoids. Let’s begin!
- Master Transportation Plan – We have a master plan that is maintained by our Public Works Department, which will be appropriately updated in conjunction with the ongoing general plan update. You can also check out the County’s transportation planning through the Mountainland Association of Governments at https://mountainland.org/rtp.
- Citywide Pavement Maintenance Master Plan – This new plan is nearly complete and will put all city roads on a systematic prioritization and maintenance schedule. This data-driven plan will continue to be updated as we obtain additional information through our analyses. The plan emphasizing cost-effectiveness by prioritizing best value for the investment; it doesn’t focus only on collector roads. Emergency contingencies are included in the plan as well.
- 89 & 147 – These state roads are maintained and controlled by UDOT, but the City is able to contribute regarding factors such as road width and speed. Recommendations for changes on these roads much be backed up by solid data (anecdotal evidence suggesting “drivers are speeding” doesn’t justify a speed limit change).
- Traffic Signals on 89 – A corridor agreement with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) details locations for future signals along the highway. To start the process, the City much apply to UDOT to conduct the study and if the findings reveal what the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices says is appropriate, the signal must be added to the funding approval process with UDOT. Anticipate more lights along 89.
- Curb & Gutter – New development is the primary trigger for road improvements. However, there are a few other scenarios the City reports in which road improvement may occur. For example, if a street doesn’t have curb and gutter and there likely won’t be other new developments, the curb and gutter may be waived. The City might also initiate improvement to support safer routes to school (especially when grant funding is available), for example, or if a small piece of curb, gutter, and/or sidewalk can be conveniently extended in conjunction with a development to finish out a gap.
- Road Widths – Road width is a science. Roads too big require expensive and unnecessary maintenance (and often trigger subconscious speeding) while roads too narrow may reduce access and hinder emergency personnel. Once upon a time, I inquired as to whether a fire engine and ambulance could safety navigate Harvest Park with cars parked on either side. [Spoiler Alert: In times of emergency, that engine will easily give your car a push.] We’ve actually updated three of our street categories (minor local, major local, collector) in 2018, which will improve that safety and flow. Want more detail? Check out the standards (first page) at https://www.mapleton.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Mapleton-City-Standard-Plans-2018-08-01.pdf.
- Developer Fees – Developers pay to develop the streets necessary within and to access the development. However, there are no “street impact fees” that would be used to arterial roads, which we don’t have (nor do we have system-wide requirements (like four-lane roads rather than two-lane roads)). Many people have expressed concern about the wear-and-tear created by construction-related vehicles and it’s my understanding there is no direct fee to support related street impact. This may be a valid concern for which some analyses are in order.
- Citizen Problem Reporter – The new web-based ticketing, geolocation, and communication tool go publicly live within a month (it has been tested for months, however). The tool will change how problem-reporting and resolution occurs at the City and between the City and citizens. Citizens will be able to report non-emergency issues to the City, such as residential code violations (weeds, animals), through the website and also receive communication from the City about the status and resolution thereof. The City has goals regarding resolution and response time and citizen satisfaction. Instructions and tutorials will be in the November newsletter, Facebook, and on the website. (This is an effectiveness, efficiency, and communication game-changer!)
- Traffic Studies – These are required depending upon the size of the proposed development and potential impact. The studies address a road’s capacity to support increased traffic or altered traffic patterns; they are not intended to address the personal or social impact on the neighbors. Neighbors should pay particular attention to development and participate in calls for public commentary – we can’t assume the City and developers know of our concerns unless we share, too.
If you’ve had a few a-ha moments, would like to share your feedback, or want to request a blog topic – let me know! Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call 801.367.3634.