A Comprehensive Transportation Plan for the City of Norman
A plan, or planning, involves looking ahead and trying to address future perceived needs, circumstances, or goals with coherent strategy or strategies assuring that the resources needed are identified and available and intelligently applied, when needed. Planning is the process by which a community assesses what it is and what it wants to become, and then decides how to make that happen. A transportation plan addresses the relationship between transportation and land use and helps implement community values and the ability to connect neighborhoods to destinations.
The City of Norman embarked on a multi-year process to develop a Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP) for our community called “Moving Forward”. The CTP identifies future transportation needs for the area, goals and policies, and short-term and long-term capital investments for improvements to existing roads, construction of new roads, bicycle, pedestrian, and transit facilities. It provides a framework for a balanced transportation system that offers choices in how people travel, supported by a realistic approach to fund improvements. The “Moving Forward” Plan, as the CTP has been named, serves as Norman’s long-term vision for a range of transportation options and accommodations including personal and commercial vehicles, bicycling, walking, and public transit services.
Two groups were appointed to guide the development of the CTP for Norman. These includee a Citizens Visioning Committee and a Steering Committee. The Citizens Visioning Committee assisted in developing a mental picture of what residents want Norman to look and feel like in the future. The Steering Committee served as the liaison to the Norman City Council and kept the decision-makers in step with the plan as it progressed. These committees provided input and recommendations and help guide the community involvement for the CTP.
Community input helped provide policy direction for decisions related to planning transportation facilities in the City. The primary goal of this process was to plan for a well-balanced transportation system that offers choices in how people travel and is supported by a realistic plan to fund these improvements. Guiding principles from which the project goals were developed included: 1) A Special Place to Live; 2) Mobility; 3) Maintain and Preserve Existing Infrastructure; 4) Fiscal Stewardship; and 5) Enhance Economic Vitality.
In November, 2012, the City hired a consulting team led by Freese and Nichols, Inc. (FNI), to lead the development of the plan, incorporating the vision and goals developed in the earlier efforts (led by Lochner). FNI is a transportation, planning, and engineering firm founded in 1894 and has assisted cities in the planning and preparation of community plans, transportation plans, and infrastructure design for over 100 years. The first CTP was adopted in May of 2014.