Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hailey moves on street development rules

P&Z forwards 20-year development standards to City Council


By MATT FURBER
Express Staff Writer

A set of proposed rules for future development in Hailey includes standards for new sidewalks in the city. Second Avenue, above, is one part of the city that does not have sidewalks.

Safe connectivity for all roadway users has long been a goal of the Hailey comprehensive plan.

The city made another step Monday toward ironing out ground rules for future development where roadway, bike lane and sidewalk construction and renovation are concerned. The Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously passed its recommendations for a group of amendments that include changes and additions to the municipal code.

According to language in a lengthy staff report of some 77 pages, the recommendations follow a nationwide movement "to provide transportation networks that are safer, more livable and welcoming to everyone."

Development standards for streets, sidewalks and bike lanes in the proposed amendments, now headed for City Council review, update Hailey street design standards to "properly address multi-modal needs, enabling safe access for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit vehicles and passengers."

The amendments are guided by the Hailey Planning Department's embrace of Complete Streets, a national movement to provide bike lanes and pedestrian access on motorways.

If approved by the City Council, the new guidelines will guide infrastructure improvements for the next 20 years of growth in Hailey. The amendments set standards for street, sidewalk and bicycle widths on a variety of different streets and include standards for bicycle lane signs and recommendations for possible exceptions—for example, to protect existing healthy trees. The standards also address the area in the city right-of-way between parking areas and sidewalks where green space can be developed.

The amendments also help to define concepts such as designated bicycle routes and explain the word "sharrow": "a pavement marking used on shared travel lanes to indicate significant bicycle traffic to both motorists and cyclists."

One reason the proposed amendments are timely is that Hailey was recently awarded a $3.5 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant to build sidewalks and bike lanes on two and a half miles of Woodside Boulevard. Planning Director Beth Robrahn said the new standards headed to the City Council are already being applied to planning for the grant-funded project.




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