Shifting into a more connected city


Macey Thaxton

The Advisory Committee discusses city priorities.

Macey Thaxton, Staff Writer

As of August 26, Edmond has a new committee of carefully chosen citizens to advise the city in transforming it into a more connected, safe and mobile community. This committee is called the EdmondShift Advisory Committee, and they are preparing a 20-year plan for The City of Edmond to become a more portable city. 

“We want to transfer into the idea of moving people instead of vehicles,” Fort Worth consultant Jeff Whitacre said. 

The City of Edmond partnered with a group of consultants from Kimley-Horn, a planning and design company. The company brought in consultants from all over the southern part of the country to help the committee make the right decisions for the city. 

“We write up some requirements that we’re looking for, and then we broadcast it out. So [the design firms] would prepare a response, and we have to go through them [the companies] all,” Long-Range planner for Edmond Ken Bryant said. 

Not many firms do what the city was looking for at the time, so there weren’t many local firms that filled out a response. Therefore Kimley-Horn brought in consultants from all over the country.

“Over the years we have had a sidewalk plan, a trail plan and a bike plan. We started our own bus system, the CityLink system, which launched in 2009,” Bryant said. “We said we’ll try to stitch all of this stuff back together and bring it all up to modern thinking and put it all in one place.”

The first plan of this kind for Edmond was created in the early 1990s and was called Tomorrow’s Edmond. Some of the plans from Tomorrow’s Edmond are still relevant today. 

“[Tomorrow’s Edmond plan] actually specifically said ‘Do a plan that deals with multiple modes of transportation.’ For whatever reason that specific project never came to fruition in that form,” Bryant said.

Today’s advisory committee did a series of activities to start the meeting and open their minds to all the possibilities. They divided into groups and created a vision statement to describe the way they want others to see Edmond. One of the groups came up with the statement “Edmond will grow to be a safer city, connecting its diverse neighborhoods with a mobility network that is accessible to all its citizens.”

The committee discussed their visions and made edits accordingly until they had the desired statement. They also thought of the city including what would be best for everyone as well as bringing in new people and growing the population.

This plan is meant to serve the people. To collect people’s input, there is a survey on the official EdmondShift website. Also, this November the EdmondShift advisory committee is holding a mobility fair to inform and include the people of Edmond in the plan to make a more mobile city. 

Contact Macey Thaxton at [email protected]