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Thread: Connectivity in your town - is it part of your code?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Salmissra's avatar
    Aug 2004
    Central Texas

    Connectivity in your town - is it part of your code?

    I'm looking for specific language and requirements for street connectivity. Is new development required to provide points of access to other developments? If so, how many points, when do they have to construct, and do you have a waiver/exemption process? This is not just part of a thoroughfare plan - I'm also looking for info at the local street level.

    I'm putting together a short workshop for our City Council on this topic. We have a connectivity requirement in our Code, but the Council keeps granting waivers. This results in self-contained developments with limited access to/from a major thoroughfare only, resulting on longer trips and bottlenecks on major arterials and thoroughfares. We are trying to get them to see the bigger picture - emergency services times, pressure on existing transit plan, etc.

    What do you have in terms of requirements? I'd love to provide examples of how other towns have addressed this issue. And if your town is in Texas, my Texas-centric acting CM would really like me to include your info!
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  2. #2
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Jun 2003
    at the neighboring pub
    We are going that direction ourselves in our code re-write, partly because Council members are pissed about how some projects have turned out (poor connectivity). My best advice is to weaponize your fire chief as an advocate, as he can quantify response times and what that means for survivability (just don't let him/her go to far, as you'll end up with 40' wide local streets if you aren't careful). Perhaps also your school district transportation department. Maybe get a statement from your solid waste provider that improved connectivity would improve their service efficiency, resulting in reduced complaints and more stable rates.

    I'm a little foggy, but I'm pretty sure Hutto did something similar to what you're talking about when they revised their code about 3-4 years ago. Whatever they did, the home builders association got a little worked up about it (you'll want to plan for their opposition, citing bullshit increased costs of development). It might have been Leander as well... I know it was some city in the north Austin area.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
    Jul 2005
    Lone Star State
    Southlake TX for one has something in their code. Once spent 3 hours at council arguing about completing a connection to a new neighborhood of ~12 houses. Oh noes! The existing neighborhood's developer had even built a quite significant bridge over a drainage channel as his part of the required connectivity. But of course, "My real-tor(R) told me that would never connect!!"

    For some reason I think Denton and McKinney also have some rules, Denton actually has those type of connections on their Thoroughfare Plan. Actually I suspect a lot of the newer suburbs do, but probably waived a lot as well. But I don't deal with that so I can't point at specific ones.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Blog entries


    What is this Cone....Connect.......Connectivity you speak of? Don't try to impress me with your BIG CITY words

    If you can get there by driving.....then you are connected enough No need for a commercial drive connection between individual uses, you commie socialist
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

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