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St. George’s plan for an accessible city

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2022 | Land Use and Zoning |

The City of St. George has several plans in the works for growth and development. The city continues to grow as more choose to make St. George their home. There are precise needs and pain points, meaning it is time to invest more in the city’s infrastructure to support the growing population.

As city planners and citizens look to the future, they are considering ways to make St George a city for everyone. Part of the St. George 2040 plan is considering accessibility and how residents can utilize and access the business and resources of the city.

Here’s what you should know about the accessibility portion of the St. George 2040 plan.

Transportation options

With an eye on the future, more people are looking at their options for getting from here to there. While many have depended on their own vehicle, more people are looking at cities that have alternatives for getting around other than driving.

The St. George 2040 plan includes expanding transportation alternatives, such as walking and biking. The project proposes improving and integrating the current trail system to connect to urban streets and other trail networks. These changes would allow more people to walk to their destinations instead of driving.

Additionally, the plan includes improving signage to make it simpler for pedestrians to find their way. Rather than needing to find or download a map, wayfinding signage would help those new to the city (or those who are new to walking to their destinations) find their way as they go.

Pedestrian access

There is more to incentivizing walking than improved signage. The St. George 2040 plan includes ways to make being a pedestrian a safer way to commute. The project consists of prioritizing roadways that do not have designated areas for bicyclists and pedestrians so that they have improved access.

There are also plans to re-establish the grid street network, including east/west and north/south connections so that it is simpler to get across the city. The idea is that improving these main thoroughfares will help decrease congestion and make it safer for those on bikes or on foot to get to their destinations.

There will also be improvements to many streets and roadways throughout the city to improve safety and accessibility.

Updating parking standards

While there will be an emphasis on making the city safer for bicyclists and pedestrians, having the infrastructure for vehicles is still essential. St. George may see an increase in those who choose alternative types of transportation, but there will always be those who choose to drive their own vehicle.

Maintaining a safe atmosphere for bikers and pedestrians means also having safe accessibility for motorists. One way the St. George 2040 plan intends to improve accessibility is by improving parking for cars.

The St. George 2040 plan includes updated parking standards for vehicles that will also support a more pedestrian-friendly city. This may also include parking maximums in critical areas in the city. There will also be updates that include mixed-use parking and parking that works with the pedestrian-oriented goals of the St. George 2040 plan.

Improving public transit

For many residents, it is not feasible to adapt to a wholly pedestrian or bike-focused lifestyle. However, many could include public transit to decrease their dependence on having a vehicle to get around the city.

The St. George 2040 plan includes updates to the public transportation system, including on-demand services. The expansion and update of the current system includes gathering data on the current ridership to determine the highest priority needs as planners move forward, including:

  • Expanding the current system
  • Looking at alternate approaches
  • Prioritizing important routes
  • Implementing strategies to address the needs of the community

There are also plans to look at the potential need for a bus rapid transit route and other investments that could improve reliability.

City planners and others working on the St. George 2040 plan will collaborate and gather data to determine the best options for investing in expansions to the current public transit systems, like Suntran. This information will help planners decide the most used routes and where there are opportunities that the current systems do not meet.

Looking toward the future

There are many ways the residents of St. George get around. A crucial part of the expansion is looking at the current trends and how the city is developing. As planners and developers look at the information available, there will be increasing opportunities to predict where St. George needs more support to create more options for those who want to walk, bike or choose public transit. While residents may still rely on a personal vehicle, the St. George 2040 plan prioritizes alternatives while still supporting personal cars.

As businesses and developers look to the future and opportunities in St. George, keeping these goals in mind will be essential.