Alexander Flores said he watched his town “gutted” through poor planning during his younger years.
The traffic engineer and transportation planner said Copperas Cove is a “dead ringer” for his hometown but he isn’t going to let the same thing happen to Cove.
Although Flores — from Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam Inc. — was at the meeting Tuesday to talk about the transportation master plan now in the final stages, he did take time to discuss why roads are built the way they are.
Flores is producing a master plan for the City of Copperas Cove, but has nothing to do with the Business Highway 190 project.
“There are things that TxDOT and other look at,” Flores told the crowd of 25 people at the third and final meeting concerning the transportation master plan. “The solutions may not look like you want them to.”
Flores has been putting together what he describes as a master document for the last 18 months looking at the total picture in Copperas Cove.
He told those in attendance there are three questions that needed to be answered — What do we have; what do we want; and how did we get there.
Flores said a survey of more than 250 residents listed road safety, controlling traffic congestions, infrastructure maintenance, sidewalks, environmental impact and transit availability are the to items important to Cove residents.
Those in the audience were a little surprised at the low number of responses to the survey ... 250 out of 33,000 residents.
Flores said that figure was 10 times the number of people responding to surveys compared to other cities.
When the question of the bike lanes, sidewalks and squeezing two lanes out of Business U.S. Highway 190 came up, Flores said he was not working on the project but spent time explaining some of the intricacies of decisions.
“People won’t do it (use the sidewalks or bike paths),” one person noted.
“People don’t do it now because they don’t feel comfortable,” Flores noted.
He said that 80 percent of traffic congestion occurs at intersections.
“There needs to be a lot of balance,” Flores offered.
City Planner Charlotte Hitchman said the transportation master plan is approximately 90 percent completed and there would be a copy on the city website.
The plan is expected to go in front of the City Council in the near future.
The plan offers guidelines for the city to follow and has 60 projects possible in the next 20 years.
She also noted the Business U.S. Highway 190 plan is in the design phase right now.