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A consultant hired by the town is working with staff to develop an Active Transportation Plan for the Town of Fountain Hills and, last week, a representative of J2, the consultant, presented an update to a joint meeting of the Planning and Zoning and the Community Services commissions.

Jeff Engelmann of J2 told the session that they are about midway through the process with survey data compiled. The information collected is providing a picture of where residents like to walk and their favorite destinations. Similar information related to bicycling was also part of the survey.

The survey effort has identified locations where gaps in the sidewalk system are of most concern. For the most part, these locations are along the major streets in the community.

In addition, the survey shows there is some need for improved striping and signs related to bike lanes and proper turning at intersections.

In 2007 the town developed a sidewalk plan to identify important locations for sidewalk infill and expansion. It has been a slow process, as funding through the recession meant those projects have received lower priority. Recently, the town has been working to fill gaps along Palisades Boulevard and new development will help tie walkways together in the downtown area.

Residents want to see pedestrian and bicycle transit focused on interconnection of high-traffic destinations. These include the downtown, school sites and parks.

Engelmann said the process is continuing to garner additional public input. There was a booth scheduled for the Fountain Festival of Arts and Crafts this past weekend with maps for people to identify issues and concerns.

On Wednesday, Dec. 9, a second Zoom meeting has been scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. to gather additional public comment. A third public meeting will be scheduled in the spring or summer of 2021. A time has yet to be determined.

J2 will be at the Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 5, to update the council on the project. A second council update will be scheduled later in the spring or summer, and Engelmann said he would be back for another session with P&Z and Community Services in the spring or summer.

Those interested in seeing more about the Active Transportation Plan may visit the Town of Fountain Hills website, fh.az.gov, and there is a link in the lower right of the homepage.