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Councilmember Adam Shimoni to host discussion on Flagstaff bicycle plans

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bike parade

A large parade of bicyclists rides up Aspen Street during 2015's Hullabaloo bicycle parade.

Interested in the past and future of cycling in Flagstaff? On Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m., Flagstaff City Councilmember Adam Shimoni will host a live panel discussion on bicycle plans in the city from the 1970s to today.

The live panel discussion will be conducted in two parts. In the first, archivist and public historian Sam Meier, who has researched and compiled a plethora of city documents that outline various cycling plans, will present these historical plans alongside Shimoni.

“There will also be some conversation about statewide efforts,” Shimoni said. “But we will be primarily focused on city efforts here in Flagstaff in regard to bicycle planning: what was achieved and what wasn't achieved.”

Within these historical plans are many projects that never came to fruition: proposed constructions of bikeway corridors, pedestrian paths, and trails that remain unbuilt.

“You'll see that there was quite a bit of planning that had taken place, but not necessarily the follow through needed to implement these plans,” Shimoni said.

There are also some fun quirks in these old city plans, most notably a hand-drawn diagram from 1979. “It breaks down different types of cyclists from the kid to the novice, the commuter, the shopper, the tourist, the racer, and it has some really funny graphics that go with it,” Shimoni said.

After this critical review of historical plans, the second part of the panel discussion will shift from past to future with a presentation on the City of Flagstaff’s Active Transportation Master Plan (ATMP) from Multi-Modal Planner Martin Ince. The ATMP is a planning document that the city has been working on for long time, and it’s meant to serve as a comprehensive guide that establishes a series of goals, policies, and strategies to support pedestrians and cyclists.

To Shimoni, the ATMP is a crucial part of ensuring that Flagstaff’s current cycling plans don’t fizzle and fade like those from the past. “This will create the groundwork needed for us to move forward with a holistic plan. Often, we piecemeal little efforts here and there, but we really need a holistic plan.”

Shimoni said an actionable master plan is also crucial to decongesting roadways in Flagstaff.

“The truth is, shifting folks out of their vehicles to the roads on bikes and buses and pedestrian corridors is going to remove cars from the road,” he said.

And here’s the crucial bit: the ATMP is currently in its public review period, but it won’t stay that way for long. Originally set to close on Nov. 19, the city has extended the public survey and feedback period to Dec. 20 to allow for more input from the community. While the discussion panel on Wednesday will be primarily educational, the hope is that through this education, the Flagstaff community will be more empowered to engage the process and submit input on the ATMP.

“Ultimately the goal is to take a stroll down memory lane with the community on these historic documents,” Shimoni said, “to educate the community on what's been done leading up to today, what we're doing today, moving forward, and their role in the process.”

The interactive panel discussion starts at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 1. It will be accessible through Facebook Live and Adam Shimoni’s Youtube Channel, linked below:

Facebook Event Page: https://bit.ly/3EcsTB5

Adam Shimoni Youtube Channel: https://bit.ly/3xJi1rN

To submit public comment or learn more about the ATMP, visit flagstaff.az.gov/3181/Active-Transportation-Master-Plan.

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