It's almost a year to the date since John Michlig helped replace the Trails Committee with the Complete Streets and Connectivity Committee, in hopes of proving a smarter transportation grid and boost economic development in the city.
The path to fruition isn't completely clear yet, but Franklin officials have an idea of where this is all heading.
Michlig said the committee now involves most departments in city government and is close to offering a resolution to guide future development to the Common Council.
The resolution enumerates the manner in which committee members will provide recommendations for city transportation and development during planning, construction or reconstruction throughout the city. It ensures that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate roadways with all users in mind - including bicyclists, vehicles and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
Complete streets does de-emphasize the vehicle as being the dominate mode of transportation in walkable communities, but it's not anti-car, said Michlig.
Committee members say complete streets will be a shot in the arm for economic development.
"Rather than becoming a drive through city where people fly by as fast as humanly possible, why not build places where you park once and do three or four different things?" Michlig said. "And small businesses can take root and be sustainable. Those things happen in communities that have walkability."
Michlig said the value of a home can increase up to $3,000, depending on the market, when a community has a street network in place. And it's an idea that has the backing of the AARP, the Metropolitan Builders Association and the American Society of Civil Engineers.
John Bennett, the city's engineer, said the Public Works department had some minor reservations about the cost of adding connections to the city's infrastructure.
"It always comes to money and availability to do additional things," Bennett said.
But he recognizes the potential of connectivity.
"I would have to say Franklin is a bit of a floor runner on this," he said. "We still have quite a bit of development area available, and to have this in place really comes into play nicely for Franklin."
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