Mar 102010
 
Authors: Jordyn Dahl

One day, programmable, autopilot cars could maneuver the streets of Fort Collins.

Or at least, that’s what Thomas Frey said.

As the executive director of Colorado’s non-profit, futurist think tank the DaVinci Institute, Frey was vetted to spark creativity among the city’s leaders and residents last week at the unveiling of Plan Fort Collins, designed to attract new residents and improve quality of life.

In a move that will cost city taxpayers approximately $840,000, Fort Collins officials have merged both the City and Transportation Master Plans into one, known as PFC.

The plan includes the addition of Transit system routes, more housing around CSU’s campus and bike/pedestrian paths surrounding the Mason Street area, among other improvements.

“It’s part of the city’s efforts of (anticipating) the future … we’re really trying to identify how to maintain that high standard of developing the city,” said Ken Waido, PFC’s deputy project manager.

Focus groups comprised of community members were assigned to assess eight ideas central to PFC including:
-Built environment (land use, urban design, historic preservation),
-Transportation,
-Housing,
-Arts and culture,
-Finance and economy,
-Environment, sustainability and utilities,
-Natural areas, open lands, parks and recreation, and
-Health, wellness and safety.

“Right now, we’re kind of at the big idea level, and we need to refine those big ideas for what it might mean in terms of policies and cost,” Waido said.
The goal is to adopt a final version of PFC by January/February 2011.

“It’s a yearlong planning process. It was a city plan done in the 1990s, and now it’s a more comprehensive and systematic look at planning for Fort Collins and its future,” said City Council member Wade Troxell of District 4.

The city is hoping to get the community and students involved to get their input. They have created both a Facebook group and a Twitter account that members can join.

The City Council will host meetings that the public can attend to give their opinions and ideas of what they want Fort Collins to look like in the future.

“All City Council meetings are open to the public, and the public always has the opportunity to provide comments and are encouraged to do so,” said Kelly DiMartino, director of the city’s Communications and Public Involvement.

Staff writer Jordyn Dahl can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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