Florence City Council approves Veterans Drive study

The study will address traffic volumes, land use and more along the corridor.

Posted: Sep 23, 2021 11:15 AM

The Veterans Drive corridor has seen a lot of change over the last few decades, not just from new developments but also from increased traffic. To that end, Florence City Council on Wednesday approved a contract for a study that will look at the various components of the corridor and craft a plan for improving the corridor as the city continues to grow.

Florence Planning Director Melissa Bailey said the study, conducted by Ross/Fowler P.C., will address visibility, aesthetics, connectivity and neighborhood vitality. The study is also set to address transportation, land use and urban design components for the portion of the corridor starting at the Helton Drive overpass and ending at the intersection of Veterans Drive and Cox Creek Parkway, according to the City.

“The ultimate goal of planning is to maximize the health, safety and economic well-being of all people living in our communities,” Bailey said. “The best method for achieving lasting value is through a systematic approach informed by data and citizen engagement to first, create a vision; second, set goals; third, devise policies, programs and projects; and fourth, allocate resources to move the community toward fulfillment of those goals.”

Bailey said the Veterans Drive Corridor study will use that approach. According to a proposed timeline for the study, data will be collected now through Oct. 29. A public engagement meeting is set for Jan. 11, 2022, with public engagement online surveying set for Jan. 11–25, 2022.

Bailey said the public engagement opportunities are a way for stakeholders to help define the overall goals and objectives for the corridor and how to best create a more inviting and safe Veterans Drive.

A website related to the study will be launched in early February 2022, according to the timeline. A preliminary plan presentation is currently set for April 12, 2022, followed by a public comment period that will last until April 22, 2022.

Once complete, the preliminary plan will be updated and a final plan will be presented to the City Council and Planning Commission sometime in June 2022. This is also when the River Heritage Trail is expected to be completed, according to the City.

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