City, Lea Hill residents to gather, discuss transportation, streets

Auburn officials will meet with residents of Lea Hill to talk about transportation and streets at 6 p.m. today in the gymnasium at Hazelwood Elementary School.

Auburn officials will meet with residents of Lea Hill to talk about transportation and streets at 6 p.m. today in the gymnasium at Hazelwood Elementary School.

Behind the meeting is the city’s need to update its comprehensive Transportation Plan to include the recently-annexed Lea Hill areas. But it’s also something of a get-acquainted meeting.

“It’s primarily about the transportation section of the comprehensive plan, but it also gives us an opportunity to go back out into the community for the first time since we annexed Lea Hill into the city,” said Duanna Richards, communications and community relations manager for the city of Auburn. “It’s an opportunity for residents to ask questions about city services and clarify some things.”

The comprehensive plan is the long-range vision for how the city’s transportation system will develop. It contains policies and technical information related to the street system, and transit and non-motorized travel such as bike lanes. The city last updated this section of the plan in 2005.

The meeting’s first half-hour will follow an open house format, and representatives from each city department will be on hand to answer questions. The idea is to give people an opportunity to learn what the city’s plans are for parks, police, utilities and other important matters.

A formal presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. with an address by Mayor Pete Lewis followed by a 45-minute question-and-answer period.

After that the meeting will turn exclusively to transportation matters, with transportation planner Tiffin Goodman explaining the city’s plan and why the city needs to hear from its residents.

“The public works staff knows what is going on and will explain what the next steps will be,” Richards said. “They will take what they learn and put together a proposal based on what they have gathered. Later, they will come back out for another meeting to get some feedback from the neighborhood once again.”

A meeting for the newly-annexed West Hill area was held at Evergreen Heights Elementary on May 20.

“People were very engaged in the process, and they stuck around to give good, valuable input into transportation-related issues. It went really well. There were about 40 people there, and rarely do we get that kind of attendance from the public on a matter like this,” Richards said.

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