Bike, ped, P&R master plan

The Chester YMCA was the third of six stops on Chesterfield’s Parks and Recreation tour of the County to get input on the communities Bike and Pedestrian Plan, as well as, the department’s Master Plan.

According to the Parks and Recs website, (www.chesterfield.gov/BikePlan) “the Chesterfield Planning Department, together with other county departments and Sports Backers, began working on the first Bikeways and Trails Plan in January 2014. This plan will set the framework to create a system of trails and on-road bicycle facilities and will promote healthy lifestyles by providing safe and accessible routes on which to bike, walk and run.”

The meeting was an open house, which allowed the public to see maps of potential bikeways, pedestrian walks.

“The bike/ped plan fits into our master plan so we decided to put them together,” said Heather Barrar, Senior Planner with Chesterfield County.

Attendance was steady throughout the 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. open house at the YMCA. Representatives from parks and recs, planning, transportation and even a botanist were available to walk visitors through the process and displays, explaining how they and the public could get involved.

“I was impressed with the preparation and knowledge of the county staff in discussing biking improvements,” said David “Kent” Dodd, who bicycles as much as 50 miles a week. “I appreciated how responsive they were with my feedback and suggestions for improving biking in the Chester area, as well as the county. I’m eager and excited Chesterfield County is on the right track to have biking and walking more accessible and safe.”

Input not only came from within the open house, but also from members of the community that could not attend. Chester resident, Marvin Mitten, said he would like to see what he called a renaissance park (planners call it a passive park), which he described as a bridge between the past and future. He said parks in Chesterfield are typically places to play baseball or football, but what he is imagining is a park with less noise and a place that offers what passive parks offer. A place to fish, permanent chess/checker boards, a field for throwing Frisbee or playing badminton. Mitten is partially disabled and can’t enjoy an active park. He said Chesterfield’s population is aging and needs a renaissance park.

According to Parks and Recs planners, there are opportunities for all sorts of parks and they are now doing their master plan, keeping in mind and getting input to facilitate putting the parks plan into the overall Comprehensive Plan for Chesterfield.

There is plenty of time to offer you input by going to www.chesterfield.gov/BikePlan and offering your insight and taking a small survey. Parks and Recs plans to come back to the community next year including the recommendation it receives during this year’s data collection period.

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