WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Preparing for Wilmington's expected growth and dealing with the increase in traffic were the main topics of discussion as Planning Director Glenn Harbeck gave a presentation on the city's Comprehensive Plan to city council members Monday morning.
"We're going to be growing and we have to deal with that," said Harbeck. "Traffic is certainly the No. 1 concern we hear.
"Traffic relates to land use, how we're built as a city. Traffic is not related to density alone. Certainly density can play a factor in traffic generation but primarily we have our biggest traffic problems in the parts of the city where we have widely separated land uses, where people get in their cars for virtually everything."
The city council approved the plan in February 2016. It was the city's first comprehensive plan adopted since 1945.
During his presentation, Harbeck highlighted 10 ways to prepare the city for the expected population growth.
- Bring people closer to services or services closer to people. Shorten or eliminate vehicle time on roadways.
- Promote mixed use development
- Encourage density, but not just anywhere
- Make walking and biking real options for getting around
- Build so that public transit can improve
- Build and rebuild where services and infrastructure are already in place
- Build complete streets (active sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes, active roadways, safe crosswalks, planting strips and green spaces)
- Build safe places with eyes on the street
- Make sure cultural and recreational facilities keep up
- Respect, enhance and restore what makes Wilmington unique
Harbeck also discusses was to implement the comprehensive plan:
- A new land development code -- city staff is in the process of update the code
- Month-to-month land use decisions by city council
- Capital Improvement Plan
- Comprehensive plan outreach -- face-to-face meetings with various groups, mass communication