Ward 7 Alderman Lisle Baker wants to get rid of the pro-pedestrian and pro-bicyclist provisions of the draft Comprehensive Plan. If he's not stopped on Thursday night, he'll be successful.
Just prior to the Zoning and Planning committee meeting to consider the draft Comprehensive Plan, Alderman Baker submitted a last-minute set of changes. The changes were rejected by the committee (5-3, Lappin and Yates joining Baker as nays). (What do I mean by last-minute? The draft Comprehensive Plan hasn't been changed since October 2006. The public hearing was on September 10 (PDF). Alderman Baker waited until the Friday before a Monday meeting to circulated his comments and proposed changes.)
As part of a deal before the full board vote on the draft Comprehensive Plan, the plan and Alderman Baker's suggested changes were sent back to committee (as was the Planned Multi-Use Business Development amendment to the zoning ordinance).
So what does Alderman Baker want to do to pedestrians and bicyclists? Here are some of the things that Alderman Baker wants removed from the draft Comprehensive Plan:
- A recommendation that roadway modifications not degrade pedestrian and bicycle accommodations (page 4-18(G))
- A recommendation that pedestrian and bicycle accommodations improve as much as roadways improve (page 4-18(G))
- Reference to design principles that streets should be designed to accommodate bicycles (page 4-12)
- Reference to design principles that there be pedestrian access to every location (page 4-12)
- Obligation that developers provide excellent pedestrian access to transit and nearby destinations (page 4-21(G))
All around the world, cities are recognizing the need to enhance pedestrian and bicycle facilities and Alderman Baker doesn't even want to protect what little we have!