Flagstaff City Council met Tuesday afternoon to recognize the winners of the Bus Art Project on Climate Change and Hope and considered ratifying the contracts they were awarded. Council also briefly discussed the public release of the drafted Active Transportation Master Plan (ATMP).
The Bus Art Project on Climate Change and Hope, organized by the Beautification and Public Art Commission and the Sustainability Commission, focused on the theme of climate change and hope. Five winners were selected from twenty pieces of art submitted by local artists. The winners, ranging from high school students to professional artists, were awarded contracts to have their art displayed on the city’s Mountain Line Buses as well as grants funded by the Better Business Bureau.
The Beautification and Public Art Commission’s recommendation for council to ratify the contracts was met with comments of support from Mayor Paul Deasy and councilmembers Adam Shimoni and Jim McCarthy, with council voting unanimously to ratify the winners’ contracts.
“This is a really good example of several commissions working together, working with Mountain Line and working with the schools,” McCarthy said. “This is how it should be done.”
Moreover, the council held a discussion on the public release of the draft of the ATMP. Martin Ince, the city’s Multimodal Transportation Planner, described the plan’s support of walking and biking in Flagstaff through investment in the city’s sidewalk, bike lane and crossing infrastructure. The plan details goals, strategies and projects that will be implemented to do so.
The ATMP was released for public review on Sept. 13. through Nov. 12 and the public will have the opportunity to give their opinions on the plan through survey responses and community open houses. Councilmember Shimoni expressed admiration for the plan’s vision.
“What an important day today is,” Shimoni said, “I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time and I’m just so grateful we’re here.”
Councilmember Austin Aslan requested more information on the plans for a specific road, J.W. Powell Blvd., and on the budget for the plan. Whether or not the plan will reimagine that road’s role in the community and invest in its infrastructure will be a decision that significantly influences the funding of other aspects of the plan.
“We’re not just thinking theoretically about a lot of this,” Aslan said, “There are going to be some very real concrete decisions that come into play for very specific, real areas around town.”
Rick Barrett, a city engineer, explained the ATMP’s current stage of development as data collection to prepare to make specific decisions. Barrett and Ince are creating options for potential designs and collecting cost estimates to better inform decisions that will be made in the near future.
Once enough information has been gathered, the plan will be passed on to the Community Development Team for specific decisions to be made. In the meantime, the council will have many opportunities to discuss the ATMP in the coming months; the plan will be brought back for approval at several stages throughout its development.