City councilors created a transportation committee July 2 to improve planning for long-range projects that will benefit pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and those who need and use public transit.
The City Council created the committee on a 3-0 vote. Councilors Alan Gentges and Jim Curd Jr. were unable to attend Monday’s meeting. Mayor Dale Copeland, John Kane and Trevor Dorsey voted to create the five-member advisory committee.
“We don’t have any committee, right now, that looks out for the long-term transportation planning of the community,” said Community Development Director Lisa Beeman as she was outlining the need and purpose of the committee prior to the Council’s vote.
Beeman said the committee would review and assess programs like City Ride, City Circuit, Pathfinder Parkway planning, Safe Route to School planning, and bicycle pathways throughout the city.
About the committee
The transportation committee will be comprised of two city councilors and three members of the public. The City Council will decide which council members serve on the panel. The city will accept applications from members of the public who want to serve on the committee. The City Council will decide which applicants will serve on the committee. Each committee member will serve a two-year term. There are no limits on the number of terms the committee members may serve, according to the ordinance.
The committee will meet in public and comply with open meetings laws. The city engineer, community development director and chief financial officer will provide staff support to the panel.
The committee will elect a chairman and vice chairman.
The committee serves in an advisory capacity only. It will make recommendations to the City Council, which will decide if the city should act on those recommendations.
Acting City Manager Mike Bailey said the city will accept applicants from members of the community for the three committee positions. The City Council will determine which of its members will be represented on the committee. Once the City Council selects its transportation committee members, those councilors will review the applicants from the community and make recommendations to the City Council.
Long-range transportation planning falls under two departments— engineering and community development, now, Beeman said. The city of Bartlesville doesn’t have any long-range transportation outlook.
The transportation committee will:
• Assess community needs to provide an efficient and financial sustainable multimodal transportation system for all Bartlesville residents.
• Identify best design practices to ensure city streets are built to be safe and convenient for all users.
• Improve mobility of residents throughout the community by developing transit and ride share collaborations and partnerships.
• Explore emerging transportation models and technology that might improve the performance, efficiency and safety of the city’s transportation systems.
• Evaluate and assess the financial sustainability of transportation improvement policies, ordinances, strategies, projects and investment opportunities.
Copeland said the city has considered creating a transportation committee for several years.
“This is something that has been discussed for a long time — many different efforts,” Copeland said. “There are many parts to this … We not only want to do something. We want to do something that is sustainable. … So we can build something, make it go forward and grow.”