As Calvert countians continue to cope with increased road congestion, life could become a little safer in the future for local bicyclists and pedestrians.
Updates for two of Calvert’s seven town center master plans were received by the planning commission during its August meeting. The Prince Frederick and Dunkirk plan updates are at different stages, but citizens weighing in on the revised plans — which are used as guides for evaluating proposed projects and aid businesses and developers in making investment and location decisions — include advocacy for individuals not using a motor vehicle to get from point A to point B.
Jenny Plummer-Welker, the county’s long-range planner, told the commission members the Prince Frederick draft plan is posted on the county government website.
Goals of the draft plan include improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists. “There is a strong community interest in a bikeway and pedestrian network throughout Prince Frederick,” the draft reads.
The plan as currently drafted is also mandating a better approach to managing traffic and goals include “encouraging development” within the Prince Frederick Town Center and “expanding tourism opportunities.”
The cutoff for written comments on the Prince Frederick draft was Sept. 1. The planning commission will discuss the public’s submissions as well as various agency comments during its Sept. 15 meeting. That will be followed by the planning commission members possibly proposing changes to the draft. The public will get additional opportunities to comment on the plan update before it is eventually finalized by the board of county commissioners.
In her summary of the Dunkirk Town Center Master Plan update, planner Ruth Davis-Rogers said three public meetings on the process have been held, including the county government’s first-ever “in-person/hybrid” session to discuss focus areas of the plan.
Three surveys have been taken regarding the Dunkirk plan update, with nearly half the responders residing outside the town’s zip code.
According to Davis-Rogers’ presentation to the planning commission, 11% of survey participants cited as a key element “better walkability, pedestrian walking trails and bike paths.”
The written survey participants cited as top concerns managing growth wisely, attracting more retail, remaining small and rural, infrastructure (water and sewer) as well as traffic and walkability.
Rogers-Davis said survey participants have indicated a workshop on land use in Dunkirk is needed.
County government staff has recommended the Dunkirk update focus on land use, roads and traffic, and the town center’s “economic vitality.” The planning commission indicated no opposition to the focus areas.