An open letter to the DeLand City Commission, commenting on the city’s recent transportation-planning workshop:
The 2050 Plan starts now! And rightly, so we cannot wait to take action.
Now is the time to start the process of making changes.
I commend the DeLand city commissioners for addressing the transportation issues now. It is a step in the right direction.
The process as presented seems a bit complicated and should seriously be looked at for ways to simplify it.
• I recommend that the city work with the state DOT to create bypasses for State Road 44 and U.S. Highway 17-92 to reduce the through traffic impact on the Downtown core.
The current plans may be workable for the near future but, for long term (2050), the proposed improvements are not sufficient for a city of 60,000 residents.
• The city should take possession of the streets/roads that penetrate the core; ask the state to vacate these streets.
Yes, that means the city must maintain them, but they become more user-friendly (bikes, pedestrians, etc.).
• SunRail spur: Ongoing discussions about transportation for people who ride SunRail to DeLand should be elevated to a high priority with pursuit of federal funding. This will take many years.
• All highway improvements should have multiuse capability with planned connections for bike and trailways. The emphasis is on “connections.”
Minor issue: Close off West Indiana Avenue. Elevate the roadway to curb height. Silver Spring, Maryland, is a good example of how to handle pedestrians and deliveries by vehicles.
Transportation issues are like a puzzle in which all of the pieces are not well-defined and almost impossible to put together.
Bottom line: Look at the big picture, and simplify.