In Part I of my explanation of a comprehensive plan, I explained how they start and some of the basics of their contents.  However, before moving on to the rest I wanted to investigate what kind of plans we already have.

So when the issue of sidewalks came up a couple weeks ago on social media, I contacted the city to see if I could see the plans for the Bluff Park Sidewalk Project and hear a little bit about how things were going.  As it turns out, not only is there a plan for Bluff Park, but there is a city-wide Hoover Pedestrian, Bicycle, Greenway Master Plan created in 1999.

Hoover-Pedestrian-Bicycle-Greenway

Behold…the aptly named and difficult-to-say-5-times-fast Hoover Pedestrian, Bicycle, Greenway Master Plan. Raise your hand if you live in Hoover and knew about this?

 

bluff-park-sidewalks

The Bluff Park Community Sidewalk Plan. A very thorough, very detailed set of schematics. Not available for Kindle.

This was a really cool discovery.  One wonders why it needs discovery?

Further, I am happy to report that I continue to be impressed by our professional city management.  Anytime I have requested information, they have been courteous and helpful.  They have been there to answer questions and explain the history behind the when, how and why.  (Spoken history is a huge part of what’s happening in Hoover).

These people know what they’re doing, and they know how to get things done.  People in the planning field will tell you we have some of the best in the business.  It’s not just an election year statement to say I really hope you’ll allow me to work with them on the big picture.

projects-budget

Distinct, named projects in the Greenway Plan. Each with a budget estimate. Everything a growing city needs, (except the elected leadership who will make sure the plan gets updated after creation in1999).

What I found is in line with just about every experience I’ve had with city staff so far.  They are a very capable team that is extremely good at getting things done.

So what is the problem here?

The problem I see is a complete breakdown in the political leadership when it comes to policy and long term strategy.  Where is the published, public plan that can be easily located and read by the citizens of Hoover?  Where are the yearly reviews and follow up?  This document started out as a publicly driven, comprehensive plan for non-automotive transportation.  What happened? I’ve seen what the plans are, but what is the vision?

Most importantly, why doesn’t every person in Hoover know that we are using a giant, sidewalk building robot?

robot-used-for-good

In the movies, giant robots may be good or evil. In Hoover, they work for the forces of sidewalk! I didn’t get to see this thing in action, but you better believe I’ll be back next time it’s running.

new-sidewalk

Where the sidewalk begins on Ross Bridge Parkway. A few hours ago this was dirt. Soon the people of Hoover will have a safe place to walk to the corner store.

These things, my friends, are the responsibility of the City Council.  When it comes to long term planning our elected leadership has been inconsistent and without vision.  More critically they have lacked the political will to execute a high level plan that takes us beyond the next election.  And here we are.

It’s time to change all this.  And I hope you’ll pick me to be part of that change.  Walk, bike, or drive, but whatever you do get out there and vote August 23rd!

 

 

 

 

  1. amy baird says:

    Anything in there about a fine arts bldg . . . long ago approved?

  2. Richard. Vandrell says:

    Glad someone is addressing this issue. I have to go to Mt Brook or Oak Mt to run or Ride.

  3. Betty Brown says:

    I have inquired about sidewalks on Hwy. 150. There is seldom a day I don’t see people walking on it. I have asked the last two Mayors a about it and they both said “it’s in the works”. I have asked this question for the last 6 years. If there were sidewalks on 150 it would be an incentive for us to get out and walk to WalMart and the mall. As it is, it is too dangerous.

  4. Hilary Beason says:

    I’ve asked for sidewalks for Riverchase as we have a ton of traffic down the parkway, but was told it was too expensive… Glad that’s not the case in some of the neighborhoods, but wish the city was willing to invest in the more established neighborhoods too!

  5. Rich Dawson says:

    Lots of people walk along Rocky Ridge Road. The city needs to throw some bones for the east side of town. Although there’s not too many squeaky wheels like other areas of town, but some oil would be nice.

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