Parnell-Rowe, Lisa 7-15-20.jpg

Hastings residents have an opportunity to influence the city’s transportation and parking plan and help set goals for years into the future.

Representatives from Denver engineering firm Kimley-Horn will be in Hastings next week for a series of meetings — including a public focus group 6 p.m. Wednesday at the City Auditorium, 400 N. Hastings Ave. — to discuss factors that would go into the transportation and parking plan and gather public input.

“The city administrator and executive committee for transportation plans really wanted to get full feedback from the community involved in this,” said Lisa Parnell-Rowe, development services director for the city of Hastings. “This is a big deal. This transportation plan is going to lay out things for the future regarding transportation. It’s going to provide a road map.”

Members of the Hastings City Council approved a contract in May for the comprehensive transportation and parking plan for the city.

Unlike the city’s one- and six-year road plans, which address just streets in Hastings, Parnell-Rowe said, the transportation and parking plan will take a comprehensive look at the city’s transportation network. That includes everything from the proposed intercity bus service for the Tri-City area, trains, one-way versus two-way streets in downtown as well as building transportation corridors from north to south and east to west.

Wednesday’s meeting is all about goal setting.

“The intent of this is largely to gather goals,” Parnell-Rowe said. “It’s to survey people on their thoughts and their opinions to set the goals and expectations for the transportation plan.”

If a larger group attends Wednesday’s meeting, then organizers will put participants in breakout groups discussing transportation issues and then come back with their thoughts.

“If it is a smaller group, then the planners and I would just facilitate that discussion as a whole instead of at breakout tables,” she said.

No matter how many people attend the meeting on Wednesday, organizers will be ready with plenty of space.

“That’s one of the reasons we chose the auditorium, of course, was to allow for lots of space,” Parnell-Rowe said. “We’ll have appropriate spacing at the tables.”

Participants will be required to wear masks.

“We felt it would be very important to do this in person, so that the public can participate and understand their opinions are being heard,” she said.

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